China says Trump’s tariffs ‘launched the largest trade war in economic history,’ vows to strike back | Digital Asia
- Reuters/Jason Lee
- The Chinese government responded quickly to the as President Donald Trump’s tariffs went into effect at midnight ET on Friday.
- The Chinese Ministry of Commerce called the tariffs “typical trade bullying” and said Trump “launched the largest trade war in economic history.”
- China also promised that it would respond with trade restrictions of its own to counteract Trump’s decision.
The Chinese government wasted no time responding to President Donald Trump’s tariffs and promised swift action in retaliation to the trade restrictions.
In a statement released shortly after the midnight ET, China’s Ministry of Commerce called the tariffs – which impose a 25% duty on $34 billion worth of Chinese exports to the US – “typical trade bullying” and warned that retaliation would be swift.
“The United States violated the [World Trade Organization] rules and launched the largest trade war in economic history to date,” the Commerce Ministry said.
Trump’s tariffs are the result of an investigation by the administration into the theft of US intellectual property by Chinese firms and their government. The tariffs were originally announced in March, but a series of procedural delays and trade negotiations pushed back implementation to Friday.
The Chinese government previously said that it will impose tariffs of equal size on US goods as retaliation and reiterated that retaliation would come soon.
“The Chinese side promised not to fight the first shot, but in order to defend the core interests of the country and the interests of the people, they had to be forced to make the necessary counterattacks,” the Commerce Ministry said.
The back-and-forth trade battle between the world’s two largest economies will likely be damaging to the US economy according to trade experts, ths fact was not lost on the Chinese.
“Consumers will not only be helpless, but will also harm the interests of American businesses and people,” the statement said.
The two sides’ tariffs each focus on particular industries in an attempt to make the duties as painful as possible. Trump’s tariffs around going after industrial goods and technology, a move designed to take aim at Chinese President Xi Jinping’s heralded Made in China 2025 plan.
China’s tariffs, on the other hand, will hit agricultural products like soybeans and pork. The tariffs are designed to hurt parts of the US that are politically aligned with Trump.