China hammers US products with tariffs as ‘sparks’ fly in trade war
Beijing’s warning: ‘Don’t open Pandora’s box of protectionism’
effective from April 2.
“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 dispute between two countries will be damaging for world growth.
US President Donald Trump is separately preparing to impose tariffs of more than $50 billion on Chinese goods intended to punish Beijing over US accusations that China systematically misappropriated American intellectual property — allegations Beijing denies.
China has repeatedly promised to open its economy further, but many foreign companies continue to complain of unfair treatment. China warned the US on Thursday not to open a Pandora’s box and spark a flurry of protectionist practices across the globe.
“There are some people in the West who think that China looks tough for the sake of a domestic audience, and would easily make concessions in the end,” the Global Times editorial said.
“But they are wrong.”
The Global Times is run by the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily, although its stance does not necessarily reflect Chinese government policy.
In a statement published on Monday, the Chinese commerce ministry said the US had “seriously violated” the principles of nondiscrimination enshrined in WTO rules, and had also damaged China’s interests.
“China’s suspension of some of its obligations to the United States is its legitimate right as a member of the World Trade Organization,” it said, adding that differences between the world’s two largest economies should be resolved through dialogue and negotiation.
CRUNCH TIME: Imported nuts and other foodstuffs from the US face tariffs of up to 25 percent under retaliatory measures announced by Beijing. (AP)