August 4, 2018 11:31 am
Updated: August 4, 2018 10:34 pm

China accuses U.S. of trade ‘blackmail’ after imposing $60B in tariffs on American goods

WATCH: President Donald Trump said Saturday that China's market was down 27 per cent as a result of tariffs placed on the country, and said he doesn't like it, but said they're now rebuilding the U.S. instead of China.

A A

China’s state media said on Saturday the government’s retaliatory tariffs on $60 billion of U.S. goods showed rational restraint and accused the United States of blackmail.

Late on Friday, China’s finance ministry unveiled new sets of additional tariffs on 5,207 goods imported from the United States, with the extra levies ranging from five to 25 percent on a total value of goods less than half of that proposed by U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration.

WATCH: Trump slams trade deals once more, says tariffs leading to negotiations

The response follows the Trump administration’s proposal of a 25 percent tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports.

“China’s countermeasures are rational,” the Global Times, a tabloid run by the official People’s Daily, said in a commentary.

“China will not rush to compete with U.S. numbers,” it said, echoing comments made by state television.

WATCH: Trump remarks on China spy working for Dianne Feinstein


Story continues below

The United States and China implemented tariffs on $34 billion worth of each others’ goods in July. Washington is expected to soon implement tariffs on an additional $16 billion of Chinese goods, which China has already said it will match immediately.

“The White House’s extreme pressure and blackmail are already clear to the international community,” said a state television commentary.

“Such methods of extreme blackmail will not bear fruit against China.”

China has now either imposed or proposed tariffs on $110 billion in U.S. goods, representing the vast majority of China’s annual imports of American products. Last year, China imported about $130 billion in goods from the United States.

WATCH: Trump says he has taken “toughest ever” actions in response to China’s abusive trade practices

“The U.S. has repeatedly resorted to threatening and deceitful routines, trying to force China to compromise, both overestimating its own bargaining power and underestimating China’s determination and ability to defend its national dignity and the interests of its people,” said a commentary in the official Xinhua news agency.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, however, remained staunch on Washington’s push for fairer trading conditions with China.

WATCH: Trump announces new tariffs on $200B in Chinese products as trade dispute continues with China

“President Trump inherited an unfair trade regime where American workers and American companies were not treated reciprocally or fairly by the Chinese, and the efforts of the Trump administration are to right that, to correct that,” Pompeo said to reporters on the sidelines of a regional forum in Singapore.

Pompeo added that he had discussed trade issues with Chinese State Councillor Wang Yi on Friday.

READ MORE: China warns of retaliation if U.S. imposes more trade penalties on imports

Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah said he met Pompeo in Singapore and that his message was clear.

“My objective was quite straightforward: I think I need to inform him that we are very concerned,” said Saifuddin.

Countries like Malaysia form an integral part of Chinese exporters’ supply chains, and analysts have warned a trade war could knock billions of dollars off their economic growth in coming years.

READ MORE: Canada to host meeting on World Trade Organization reform, but without U.S. and China for now

“China has taken a necessary and legitimate response, based on the interests of the Chinese people and to protect the rules-based international trade system under the WTO,” said Wang on the sidelines of the Singapore forum on Saturday.

WATCH: BMW lifts prices in China on U.S.-made SUVs to combat tariffs

In response to a question about a comment by White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow that China’s latest measures are “weak,” Wang said: “Does he want China to take an even stronger response?”

© 2018 Reuters

Report an error

Comments

Want to discuss? Please read our Commenting Policy first.