UPDATE | China announces penalties to retaliate for US tariffs


BEIJING (AP) — China’s government said Friday it will retaliate for U.S. President Donald Trump’s tariff hike on Chinese goods by immediately imposing penalties of the “same scale” on American goods.

The Commerce Ministry said it also is scrapping deals made with Washington in talks aimed at defusing a sprawling trade dispute.

A ministry statement gave no details of what U.S. goods would be affected, but China announced possible targets in April including soybeans, light aircraft, orange juice, whiskey and beef.

“The Chinese side doesn’t want to fight a trade war, but facing the shortsightedness of the U.S. side, China has to fight back strongly,” the statement said. “We will immediately introduce the same scale and equal taxation measures, and all economic and trade achievements reached by the two sides will be invalidated.”

9:55 a.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration announced a 25 percent tariff on up to $50 billion worth of Chinese imports on Friday, instantly escalating a trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies.

China has said that it will retaliate with $50 billion in tariffs in response, rattling financial markets.

Trump has vowed to fulfill his campaign pledge to crack down on what he contends are China’s unfair trade practices and efforts to undermine U.S. technology and intellectual property. During an impromptu appearance on the White House North Law, the president hailed his “very big tariffs” on China.

“You know we have the great brain power in Silicon Valley, and China and others steal those secrets. And we’re going to protect those secrets. Those are crown jewels for this country,” Trump said.

“‘There is no trade war. They’ve taken so much,” Trump said in an interview with “Fox & Friends.”

The tariffs will cover 1,102 Chinese product lines worth about $50 billion a year. Those include 818 products, worth $34 billion a year, remaining from a list of 1,333 the administration released in April. The government will start to collect the tariffs July 6.

The administration also is targeting another 284 Chinese products, which the administration says benefit from China’s aggressive industrial policies, worth $16 billion a year but won’t impose those tariffs until it collects public comment.

“It’s thorough. It’s moderate. It’s appropriate,” U.S. Trade Rep. Robert Lighthizer said Friday on the Fox Business Network. He added: “Our hope is that it doesn’t lead to a rash reaction from China.”

Trump has already slapped tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico and European allies, and his proposed tariffs against China risk starting a trade war involving the world’s two biggest economies.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Friday that China’s response would be immediate and that Beijing would “take necessary measures to defend our legitimate rights and interests.”

Geng gave no details. Beijing earlier drew up a list of $50 billion in U.S. products that would face retaliatory tariffs, including beef and soybeans, a shot at Trump’s supporters in rural America.

Trump’s decision on the Chinese tariffs comes in the aftermath of his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The president has coordinated closely with China on efforts to get Pyongyang to eliminate its nuclear arsenal. But he signaled that whatever the implications, “I have to do what I have to do” to address the trade imbalance.

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