BEIJING (Reuters) – China on Friday announced retaliatory tariffs on $60 billion (£46.1 billion) worth of U.S. goods ranging from liquefied natural gas (LNG) to some aircraft and warned of further measures, signalling that it won’t back down in a protracted trade war with Washington.
China’s finance ministry unveiled new sets of additional tariffs on 5,207 goods imported from the United States, ranging from 5 to 25 percent.
Timing will depend on the actions of the United States, the Chinese Commerce Ministry said in a separate statement.
The Trump administration ratcheted up pressure for trade concessions from Beijing this week by proposing a higher 25 percent tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports. China immediately vowed to retaliate though at the same time urged the U.S. to act rationally and return to talks to resolve the dispute.
The United States and China implemented tariffs on $34 billion worth of each others’ goods in July. Washington is expected to soon implement more tariffs on $16 billion in additional Chinese goods, which China has already announced it will match immediately.
Representatives for the White House and the U.S. Commerce Department did not immediately reply to a request for comment on China’s retaliatory move.
“The U.S. side has repeatedly escalated the situation against the interests of both enterprises and consumers,” the Chinese Commerce Ministry said in its statement. “China has to take necessary countermeasures to defend its dignity and the interests of its people.”
Among U.S. products targeted were a wide range of agricultural and energy products such as beef and LNG. LNG’s inclusion marks a deployment by Beijing of one of its last major weapons from its energy and commodities arsenal in its fight with Washington.
The market is not large by value compared with the around $12 billion per year of U.S. crude that arrives in the country, but those levels could shoot up as Beijing forges ahead with its plan to switch millions of households to the fuel away from coal as part of its battle against smog.
Other U.S. goods targeted by China also included semiconductors, some helicopters, small-to-mid-sized aircraft, condoms, beef, steel products and coffee.
(Reporting by Beijing Newsroom and Susan Heavey in Washington; writing by Se Young Lee; Editing by Nick Macfie)