China targets $81B of US goods for tariff retaliation
Aug 04 2018
China responded with a 178.6 percent tariff on the roughly $1 billion in sorghum that the US imports to China each year. Washington is expected to soon implement tariffs on an additional $16 billion of Chinese goods, which China has already announced it will match immediately.
China, which purchased nearly 14 percent of all U.S. LNG shipped between February 2016 and May 2018, has taken delivery from just one vessel that left the United States in June and none so far in July, compared with 17 in the first five months of the year.
Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told media that "the Chinese side calls on the United States to return to rationality, and eradicate its mistakes to create the right conditions for resolving the problem".
Beijing's earlier round of tariffs appeared created to minimize the impact on the Chinese economy by targeting soybeans, whiskey and other goods available from Brazil, Australia and other suppliers.
U.S. President Donald Trump earlier proposed 10 per cent tariffs on an additional $200 billion of Chinese imports.
Chinese authorities warned earlier that if the dispute escalated, they would adopt unspecified "comprehensive measures".
By comparison, companies in America sold £100bn ($130bn) of goods to China during the same period. On Friday officials also stepped into cushion the yuan, which has been battered by trade tensions and was approaching the key level of seven to the dollar.
The United States and China have the world's biggest trading relationship but official ties are increasingly strained over complaints Beijing's technology development tactics hurt American companies.
"The implementation date will be subject to the actions of the U.S., and China reserves the right to continue introducing other countermeasures".
That could cast a shadow over U.S. President Donald Trump's energy dominance ambitions.
"We urge the United States to come to its senses, correct its erroneous acts and create the necessary condition for a proper settlement as soon as possible", spokesman Geng Shuang said.
But Mr Trump ratcheted up the pressure this week by asking US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to consider increasing the proposed tariffs to 25 per cent in a bid to force Beijing back to the negotiating table amid stalled talks.
The Chinese commerce ministry blamed the United States for escalating the situation.
The Bank of England said on Thursday protectionist trade policies were beginning to have an adverse impact, most notably on indicators of global goods trade.
Morgan Stanley has estimated annual Chinese imports of U.S. LNG could rise to as much as $9 billion within two or three years, from $1 billion in 2017.