The Latest: China’s Commerce Ministry warns of retaliation
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the Trump administration’s proposed 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese imports to protest Beijing’s alleged theft of American technology. (all times local):
China’s Commerce Ministry says it “strongly condemns and firmly opposes” the proposed new U.S. tariffs and warns of retaliatory action.
“We will prepare equal measures for U.S. products with the same scale” according to regulations in Chinese trade law, a spokesman says in comments carried by the official Xinhua News Agency.
The ministry says “the U.S. has published these tariff proposals with disregard to China’s solemn representations and without factual basis.”
“This is typical of unilateralism and trade protection,” it adds.
The statement says the U.S. move ignores the voices of industry in both countries and the interests of consumers and is not conducive to China, the U.S, and the world’s economic interests. China intends to refer this to the WTO’s trade dispute settlement mechanism, it says.
The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a U.S. think tank for science and technology policy, is cautioning the Trump administration against imposing tariffs on Chinese goods that the foundation says support U.S. productivity.
“The Trump administration is right to push back against China’s abuse of economic and trade policy,” its president, Robert Atkinson, said in a statement. “The list of tariffs that USTR has proposed today would hurt companies in the U.S. by raising the prices and reducing consumption of the capital equipment they rely on to produce their goods and services.
“The focus should be on things that will create the most leverage over China without raising prices and dampening investment in the kinds of machinery, equipment, and other technology that drives innovation and productivity across the economy.”
The Chinese embassy in Washington says it “strongly condemns” the Trump administration’s planned tariffs. In a statement, the embassy says the proposal “serves neither China’s interest, not the U.S. interest, even less the interest of the global economy.”
And it hinted that Beijing would retaliate with trade sanctions of its own: “As the Chinese saying goes, it is only polite to reciprocate.”
The embassy said China would seek relief from the World Trade Organization and “take corresponding measures of equal scale and strength against U.S. products in accordance with Chinese law.”
The U.S.-China Business Council has long complained that China’s policies have discriminated against U.S. technology companies. But the council argues that the latest proposed tariffs against Beijing are not the answer.
“Unilateral tariffs may do more harm than good and do little to address the problems in China (intellectual property) and tech transfer policies,” said John Frisbie, president of the council.
The Trump administration is recommending 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese imports to protest Beijing’s alleged theft of American technology.
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has issued a list targeting 1,300 Chinese products, including industrial robots and telecommunications equipment. But the proposed tariffs wouldn’t take effect before a public comment period ends May 11.
The move is the latest in a series of aggressive actions the administration has taken to combat what it calls unfair trade practices by China and other countries. American businesses worry that the administration’s moves will draw painful retaliatory sanctions.