China hits back in escalating trade war, announces tariffs on $60B of U.S. goods

May 13, 2019

China struck back Monday in its escalating trade war with the U.S., saying it intends to raise tariffs on $60 billion worth of American products starting June 1.

Levies will be raised from 10% to 25% on nearly 2,500 goods, the Chinese government said.

The Asian superpower is retaliating for Mr. Trump decision to raise tariffs from 10% to 25% on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports, saying it will squeeze China even though economists say American consumers are largely stuck with the tab.

The two nations are engaged in a tit-for-tat after trade talks, which seemed to be going smoothly in recent weeks, hit the rocks.

The Chinese finance ministry said it had no choice after the U.S. hiked tariffs on their goods Friday, accusing the Americans of “jeopardizing the interests of both sides and not meeting the general expectations of the international community.”

Roughly 2,500 additional products will be slapped with tariffs on a sliding scale below 25%, it said.

Both sides say they will continue to talk, but markets and core industries are taking stock of the potential fallout from the escalating battle.

Mr. Trump spent early Monday casting blame for the turbulence.

“I say openly to President Xi [Jinping] all of my many friends in China that China will be hurt very badly if you don’t make a deal because companies will be forced to leave China for other countries. Too expensive to buy in China,” Mr. Trump tweeted. “You had a great deal, almost completed, you backed out!”

Though the president touted a number of upsides to the tariffs, his economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, acknowledged Sunday that both nations could be in for a rocky time.

“Both sides will pay,” Mr. Kudlow said on Fox News Sunday. “Both sides will suffer on this.”

Elsewhere, the European Union said it was putting together a list of U.S. goods it planned to target if Mr. Trump slapped tariffs on car imports, according to Bloomberg.