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White House Hits China With New Tariffs, Ramping up Trade War

The move would also come at a time when China- the world’s largest car market- is moving in the opposite direction lowering taxes on imported vehicles from 25% to 15

"China opts for the first one and has made such a decision", Wang said before warning, "we hope the USA will make a wise choice and China on its part is prepared on all fronts".

But while strong words have been said within the Chinese media, the government has made it clear that its willing to engage with the United States on trade issues.

The US has said the punitive measures have been created to combat what it says is theft of its intellectual property.

Mr. Trump unveiled a 25-per-cent tariff on a list of strategically important imports from China, promising further measures if Beijing struck back. A senior Trump administration official told reporters that companies will be able to apply for exclusions for Chinese imports they can not source elsewhere.

"In this day and age, launching a trade war is not in the interest of the world", China's Commerce Ministry said.

After the Trump administration's steep tariffs on aluminum and steel, China hit the imports of sorghum from the US with a 178.6 percent tariff.

"Making a deal is a great thing for the world, it's also a great thing for China, I can't imagine that China is happy with someone having nuclear weapons so close", Mr Trump told reporters in Singapore after his historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The imposition of $50 billion in tariffs marks a significant escalation, especially with the potential for an additional $100 billion.

Geng gave no details.

The Trump administration is imposing the tariffs "in light of China's. unfair trade practices", a statement from the White House said.

She said a trade war would lead to "losers on both sides" and could have a "serious" impact.

The actual shirts and shoes imported from China won't get new tariffs, according to the full list of 1,102 product lines released Friday, and only some of the equipment used to make them, like textile rolling-machine parts and injection molders for shoes, were included in the final list.

"The Treasury Department believes that our policies, including the productivity-boosting mix of tax reform and regulatory relief, will result in more sustainable economic growth", the statement said. The spokesman didn't mention Washington and Trump's threat of tariff hikes. The two sides had said in a joint statement that China would "significantly increase" purchases of United States agricultural and energy products to reduce the trade imbalance, a top Trump demand.

The move represents a serious escalation of trade tensions between the world's two largest economies - just as Trump has also picked fights with allies Canada, Mexico and the European Union over steel and aluminum.

The newest tariffs will come despite grumblings in the U.S. market that Trump's brinkmanship on trade has negatively impacted United States industries.

In currencies, the USA dollar slipped against the safe-haven yen in the wake of the announced tariffs, while the dollar index, which measures the greenback against six currencies, fell 0.02 percent.

The U.S. and China have been holding ongoing negotiations over the trade dispute.

"It generally focuses on products from industrial sectors that contribute to or benefit from the "Made in China 2025" industrial policy, which include industries such as aerospace, information and communications technology, robotics, industrial machinery, new materials, and automobiles", the statement read. "They've taken so much" already.

The administration is also working on proposed Chinese investment restrictions by June 30.