China on Friday announced new retaliatory tariffs against the United States on more than 5,000 us goods worth $60 billion if President Donald Trump follows through on a new round of tariffs he said he's considering.
The retaliation stands to further inflame tensions between the world's two biggest economies and echoes China's response to the previous round of tariffs which took effect last month.
Meanwhile, the Chinese economy is likely to feel a pinch, but that doesn't mean the country will back down, William Zarit, the chair of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in China, tells NPR.
And Washington is expected to impose additional levies on $16 billion worth of Chinese goods that Beijing promised it would immediately match. While that could signal investors pulling money from the country, it could also help Chinese exporters manage the impact of higher United States import tariffs.
According to Reuters, the Chinese commerce minister said in a statement after the latest round of tariff threats that the United States had "repeatedly escalated the situation against the interests of both enterprises and consumers".
"China is forced to take countermeasures", said a ministry statement. The inquiry found that Chinese theft of US intellectual property was costing the USA economy billions of dollars.
China's proposed tariffs on USA liquefied natural gas and crude oil exports opens a new front in the trade war between the two countries, at a time when the White House is trumpeting growing US energy export prowess.
It comes at a time when the United States has several large-scale LNG export facilities under construction, and after Trump's late 2017 trip to China that included executives from U.S. LNG companies.
On March 1, President Donald Trump announced that the USA would be slapping a 25 percent tariff on all steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on all aluminum imports.
Trump's tariffs target goods the White House says benefit from industrial policies such as "Made in China 2025", which calls for developing Chinese competitors in robotic, artificial intelligence and other fields.
China is trying to seek an "equal" position in future talks with the USA with Friday's retaliation announcement, said Gai Xinzhe, analyst at the Bank of China's Institute of International Finance in Beijing.
Trump portrays the tariffs as a tax on foreigners, but the reality is that tariffs are taxes on US companies and consumers. "Plants are opening all over the USA, steelworkers are working again, and big dollars are flowing into our Treasury".
China has said new duties will be applied only if Washington pulls the trigger on its new tariffs. "Likewise other countries. We are Winning, but must be strong!" The global economy now appears to be living that reality, with the trade war settling into a regular rhythm of counterblows.
"We have really rebuilt China, and it's time that we rebuild our own country now", Mr Trump said during about an hour of free-wheeling remarks at a rally outside Columbus, Ohio. "They found they were hurt by rising costs, as a large number of products imported from China were hit by additional tariffs", Wang added.