China announces date to match $16 billion US tariffs

Date: Wednesday, August 8th, 2018
Source: Bloomberg

China confirmed that it will impose 25 percent tariffs on an additional $16 billion worth of imports from the U.S. from Aug. 23, matching an earlier move from Washington in another ratchet higher for the trade war between the two nations.

The U.S. decision to levy 25 percent tariffs on the same value of Chinese goods is “very unreasonable,” and China will have to retaliate to protect its rightful interests and the multilateral trading system, China’s Ministry of Commerce said in a statement.

The tit-for-tat protectionist measures are poised to surge even higher, with the U.S. reviewing 10 percent duties on a further $200 billion in Chinese imports that it may even raise to 25 percent after a comment period ends on Sept. 6. Should the U.S. proceed with those tariffs, China’s ready to slap duties on an additional $60 billion of American goods.

“We’re not yet past the point of no return but we’re edging closer to it,” said Wang Tao, head of China economic research at UBS AG in Hong Kong. “The risk is that the U.S. administration’s gamble to strong-arm China into giving into all U.S. demands without some compromise only leads to successive rounds of higher and higher tariffs.”

All Imports

President Donald Trump has suggested he may tax effectively all imports of Chinese goods, which reached more than $500 billion last year. Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe Wednesday warned that escalation of the dispute could be “very damaging for the world economy.”

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