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China threatens tariffs on $60 billion in USA goods

Chinese and U.S. flags are set up for a signing ceremony during a visit by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao at China's Ministry of Transport in Beijing, China April 27, 2018.

These taxes come as similar levies on agricultural goods have been imposed by the European Union, Canada and Mexico in retaliation to Mr Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminium.

The United States trade deficit widened in June and is on track to be the biggest in a decade despite President Trump's efforts to slash it.

China's imports from the United States previous year totaled $153.9 billion.

The highest penalties in Friday's list would hit honey, vegetables, mushrooms and other farm goods, targeting areas that supported Trump in the 2016 election.

The list included products as varied as snow blowers and 3-D printers, suggesting Chinese authorities were struggling to find enough imports their own economy can do without.

Beijing's earlier penalty tariffs appeared to be created to minimize the impact on the Chinese economy by targeting goods such as soybeans and orange juice that are available elsewhere.

Trump earlier proposed 10 percent tariffs on an additional $200 billion of Chinese imports.




Chinese authorities - bracing for economic fallout - have taken a range of measures in recent weeks to bolster the economy.

Beijing says the United States is deliberately creating the trade conflict, using bullying tactics, and ignoring global negotiating norms so that it can stop the rise of China as a competitor on the world stage.

By comparison, companies in America sold £100bn ($130bn) of goods to China during the same period.

"The implementation date of the taxation measures will be subject to the actions of the USA, and China reserves the right to continue to introduce other countermeasures", the Chinese government press release stated. On Friday officials also stepped into cushion the yuan, which has been battered by trade tensions and was approaching the key level of seven to the dollar. China's trading partners complain those might violate its market-opening pledges by subsidizing or shielding Chinese companies from competition.

That could cast a shadow over U.S. President Donald Trump's energy dominance ambitions.

The foreign ministry spokesman appealed to Washington to negotiate but could not confirm reports the two sides were setting up talks.

The Chinese Commerce Ministry blamed the US for escalating the situation. It had also become the largest buyer of USA crude oil outside of Canada, but Kpler, which tracks worldwide oil shipments, shows crude cargoes to China have also dropped off in recent months.

Morgan Stanley has estimated annual Chinese imports of U.S. LNG could rise to as much as $9 billion within two or three years, from $1 billion in 2017.

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