China hits back at US trade tariffs

China has raised tariffs on a $3bn (£2.1bn) list of 128 US products including pork, wine and apples.

Beijing is imposing a 25% duty increase on frozen US pork and aluminium scrap and 15% on sparkling wine, steel pipe used by oil and gas companies and fruits and nuts including apples, walnuts and grapes.

The increases will hit US farm states, many of which voted for Donald Trump in 2016 after the US President confirmed tariffs of up to $60bn (£42.6bn) on imports from China last month.

Donald Trump signs a presidential proclamation placing tariffs on aluminium and steel imports
Image: Trump signs a presidential proclamation placing tariffs on aluminium and steel imports

There was no indication whether Beijing might exempt Chinese-owned American suppliers.

Mr Trump launched his protectionist agenda last week – levying 25% tariffs on steel and 10% on aluminium – in a move designed to save US jobs but which critics fear could backfire.

Video: Trump targets China ‘theft’ with tariffs

The US will unveil a list of Chinese imports to be targeted with higher duties later this week, but it may be more than two months before tariffs take effect.

Rapidly growing trade tensions between the US and China – the world’s two largest economies – has sparked fears of a world trade war.

On Monday, the main stock market indexes in Tokyo and Shanghai ended the day down.

Mr Trump has promised to narrow the US trade surplus with China – a record $375.2bn (£266.7bn) last year – and has welcomed the prospect of a trade war.

:: Tariffs could harm the world and the US

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Washington has accused China of intellectual property theft and unfair technology licensing rules.

America has also said China’s state-led economics model unfairly benefits Chinese companies and subsidises exports in violation of free-trade agreements.


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