China says it will hit back if Donald Trump raises tariffs

May 8, 2019

Chinese officials said Wednesday they are prepared to retaliate if President Trump carries out his threat to increase tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports.

Mr. Trump plans to boost the tariffs from 10% to 25% Friday, asserting Beijing is reneging on earlier negotiations.

Now China’s commerce ministry says it will respond in kind, raising tensions ahead of another round of trade talks between the superpowers in Washington on Thursday and Friday.

“The escalation of trade friction is not in the interests of the people of the two countries and the people of the world,” the ministry said on its web page. “The Chinese side deeply regrets that if the U.S. tariff measures are implemented, China will have to take necessary countermeasures.”

Negotiators from the Trump administration and China have been working for months to strike a trade deal that addresses a host of issues, including complaints the Chinese steal American technology and demand trade secrets to gain leverage over the U.S.

In Twitter posts, Mr. Trump asserted Wednesday the Chinese were pulling back on commitments because they’d rather negotiate with “Joe Biden or one of the very weak Democrats, and thereby continue to ripoff the United States (($500 Billion a year)) for years to come.”

“Guess what, that’s not going to happen!” he wrote.

The president says the tariffs are inflicting financial pain on China, though economists say the burden largely falls on U.S. importers, who pass along higher costs to American consumers.