Late on Friday in Beijing, China’s Ministry of Commerce said it would retaliate with tariffs on $75 billion worth of U.S.-made goods if President Trump presses forward with the latest round of additional tariffs on Chinese products.
China’s plan would impose new tariffs between 5 percent and 10 percent on as many as 1,717 products, like crude oil and chemicals starting on Sept. 1, and then on Dec. 15, another 3,361 items, including textiles, would face the added duties, according to the Nikkei Asian Review. The dates coincide with the U.S. tariffs that prompted the clapback.
President Trump, who has toggled between praising progress in talks with China and lambasting the country for its ways with trade, has already promised his own additional action.
He has also ordered U.S. companies to find places besides China to source product.
On Twitter Friday morning, the president said, over a series of tweets, “…We don’t need China and, frankly, would be far better off without them. The vast amounts of money made and stolen by China from the Unites States, year after year, for decades, will and must STOP.”
The latter portion of Trump’s message, however, suggests relations could further break down before things improve—meaning new tariffs are even more certain to take effect than they may have been prior.
“Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing…your companies HOME and making your products in the USA,” the president said. “I will be responding to China this afternoon.”
The trade war, it seems, will rage on.
“This latest salvo is a clear message to President Trump and Peter Navarro that China cannot be bullied,” Thomas Prusa, a Rutgers University–New Brunswick expert on international trade and economics, said Friday. “That this tariff war seems likely to drive both countries, and perhaps all of Europe, into a recession hardly seems to matter. As if it needs to be said again, trade wars are not easy to win.”