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China Slippity-Slaps Tariffs On U.S. in Trade Dispute; Duties Up to 25%, Target 128 Products

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Imported nuts from the United States are displayed for sale at a supermarket in Beijing on Monday. Associated Press

BEIJING (Reuters) — China has increased tariffs by up to 25 percent on 128 U.S. products including frozen pork, wine and certain fruits and nuts, escalating a spat between the world’s biggest economies in response to U.S. duties on imports of aluminum and steel.

The tariffs, to take effect on Monday, were announced late on Sunday by China’s Finance Ministry and matched a list of potential tariffs on up to $3 billion in U.S. goods published by China on March 23.

Soon after the announcement, an editorial in the widely read Chinese tabloid Global Times warned that if the United States had thought China would not retaliate or would only take symbolic countermeasures, it can now “say goodbye to that delusion.”

“Even though China and the U.S. have not publicly said they are in a trade war, the sparks of such a war have already started to fly,” the editorial said.

China’s Commerce Ministry said it was suspending its obligations to the World Trade Organization (WTO) to reduce tariffs on 120 U.S. goods, including fruit and ethanol. The tariffs on those products will be raised by an extra 15 percent.

Eight other products, including pork and scrap aluminum, will now be subject to additional tariffs of 25 percent, it said, with the measures effective from Monday.

“China’s suspension of its tariff concessions is a legitimate action adopted under WTO rules to safeguard China’s interests,” the Chinese Finance Ministry said.

The retaliatory tariffs came amid escalating trade tensions between Beijing and Washington, which have rocked global financial markets in the past week as investors feared a full-blown trade spat between two countries will be damaging for world growth … (read more)

via The Japan News

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