China on Friday announced its decision to impose additional tariffs of four different rates on 5,207 items of imported U.S. products worth US$60 billion.
The rates of additional tariffs on such products will be 25 percent, 20 percent, 10 percent, and 5 percent, according to the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council.
“China was forced to take the countermeasures” in response to a U.S. plan to raise tariffs to be imposed on US$200 billion of Chinese goods from 10 percent to 25 percent, the commission said in a statement.
“If the United States acts willfully and puts its additional tariff measures into effect, China will instantly implement such tariff measures,” the commission said.
“The United States violated consensuses reached by multiple bilateral negotiations and once again unilaterally escalated trade frictions,” the commission said, noting that the move severely violated World Trade Organization rules, hurt the global industrial chain and free trade mechanism, substantially damaged the interests of China and the Chinese people, and will also have negative impacts on the economic development of the world including the United States.
China has taken the countermeasures to safeguard its own legitimate rights and interests and to curb the escalation of trade frictions. Meanwhile, the measures are expected to lower the impact on the domestic production and people’s lives as much as possible, it said.
After implementing the countermeasures, authorities will evaluate the effects together with all sectors of society and strive to minimize the influence on production and lives, the statement said.
On the same day, a spokesperson with the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) stated that China’s countermeasures were rational and restrained.
“China’s countermeasures with differentiated tariff rates are rational and restrained, and were proposed after extensively soliciting opinions and careful evaluation,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
The measures have taken into full consideration factors including the people’s well-being, the bearing capacity of companies, and maintaining the functioning of the global industrial chain, according to the spokesperson.
“China always believes that consultation based on the principles of mutual respect, equality, and mutual benefit is the effective way of resolving trade differences, and any unilateral threat or blackmail will only aggravate contradictions and hurt the interests of all sides,” the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson pointed out that, because the United States had repeatedly escalated the situation in disregard of the interests of enterprises and consumers of both countries, China was forced to take the countermeasures to protect national dignity and its people’s interests, defend free trade and multilateral mechanisms, and safeguard the common interests of all countries in the world.
Commenting on the latest U.S. move to add some Chinese companies to its list of entities subject to U.S. export controls, the MOC said that China stands firmly against U.S. unilateral sanctions on Chinese entities.
China urges the United States to relax its controls over exports to China, and protect and promote the high-tech trade and cooperation between companies from both countries, the ministry said.