China’s Ministry of Commerce unveiled plans Friday to impose tariffs on up to $3 billion worth of products from the United States to make up for losses caused by US tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum products.
The list tentatively contains seven categories and 128 products.
The first part covers a total of 120 taxes, involving $977 million in US exports to China, including fresh fruit, dried fruit, nut products, wine, modified ethanol, American ginseng and seamless steel pipes, and is expected to impose a 15 percent tariff.
The second part covers a total of eight taxes covering $1.99 billion of US exports to China, including pork and pork products and recycled aluminum. For these items, a 25 percent tariff is proposed.
The ministry said the imposition of tariffs by the United States, with taxes of 25 percent and 10 percent on imported steel and aluminum products on “national security” grounds actually constitutes a safeguard measure. According to the relevant provisions of the WTO Agreement on Safeguard Measures, China has formulated a list of suspension of concessions.
If China and the United States fail to reach a trade compensation agreement within the stipulated time, China will exercise the right to suspend concessions for the first list of products; China will implement the second list after further evaluating the impact of US measures on China.
The ministry said China firmly opposes the unilateralism and trade protectionism carried out by the United States, as it disregards China’s efforts to strengthen the protection of intellectual property rights and ignores the rules of the World Trade Organization.
With regard to the 301 investigation, the ministry said China has clearly stated its position on multiple occasions: China doesn’t want to fight a trade war, but it is absolutely not afraid of one.
“We are confident and capable of meeting any challenge. It is hoped the US will be able to make a swift decision and not drag bilateral economic and trade relations into danger,” the ministry said in a statement on its website.
The move by the United States is not conducive to Chinese interests, US interests or global interests, the ministry said in a statement.
“It has set a very negative precedent. China will not sit idly by its own legitimate rights and interests under any circumstance. We are fully prepared to defend our legitimate interests,” the ministry said.
(This article appeared originally in the China Daily)