China announced on Tuesday that it would hit $60 billion worth of U.S. exports with tariffs as of next week in response to President Donald Trump’s decision to escalate U.S. trade penalties on Beijing.
Beijing will slap tariffs of 5 or 10 percent on a list of about 5,200 U.S. products, such as honey, liquefied natural gas and smoked salmon. The tariffs will go into effect on Sept. 24, according to an informal translation of a Chinese Commerce Ministry announcement. Last month, Beijing had threatened tariffs of as much as 25 percent on some of the goods.
The Trump administration said on Monday it would go ahead with imposing a 10 percent duty on an additional $200 billion of Chinese imports as of Sept. 24. Trump also warned that the U.S. would “immediately pursue phase three, which is tariffs on approximately $267 billion of additional imports” — covering virtually all of China’s exports to the U.S.
Trump slammed China on Tuesday for “actively trying to impact and change our election by attacking our farmers, ranchers and industrial workers because of their loyalty to me.”
“What China does not understand is that these people are great patriots and fully understand that China has been taking advantage of the United States on Trade for many years,” Trump wrote in a series of tweets.
“They also know that I am the one that knows how to stop it. There will be great and fast economic retaliation against China if our farmers, ranchers and/or industrial workers are targeted!” he added.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Tuesday defended the administration’s latest tariffs, saying “this is not a shot from the hip.” Ross explained that the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative held a week of hearings and opted to remove a number of goods from its original list, such as Bluetooth devices and bicycle helmets.
Americans are unlikely to feel the new duties “because it’s spread over thousands and thousands of products. Nobody’s going to actually notice it at the end of the day,” Ross said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”
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