China Hits Back at US With Tar­iffs on $16B in Im­ports

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“If the U.S. takes uni­lat­eral and pro­tec­tion­ist mea­sures that harm Chi­nese in­ter­ests, we will re­spond im­me­di­ately by tak­ing the nec­es­sary de­ci­sions to safe­guard our le­git­i­mate rights and in­ter­ests,” said for­eign min­istry spokesper­son Geng Shuang.

China’s list in­cludes 333 tar­geted goods, pri­mar­ily au­to­mo­tive, plas­tic prod­ucts and var­i­ous fu­els.

Last month, the U.S. placed an equal amount of levies on $34 bil­lion in Chi­nese goods, bring­ing the to­tal worth of levied im­ports to $50 bil­lion.

The tit-for-tat skir­mish be­tween two of the world’s largest economies have es­ca­lated in the past cou­ple months as Trump has pushed for a more pro­tec­tion­ist stance on trade. The pres­i­dent has pre­vi­ously cast tar­iffs as an ef­fec­tive ne­go­ti­a­tion tac­tic, claim­ing that they are the “great­est” and that the U.S. is a “piggy bank that’s be­ing robbed” by other na­tions.

“Coun­tries that have treated us un­fairly on trade for years are all com­ing to Wash­ing­ton to ne­go­ti­ate,” he wrote in a tweet dated two weeks ago. “This should have taken place many years ago but, as the say­ing goes, bet­ter late than never!”

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