China has said it will raise tariffs on $60 billion (Sh6.1 trillion) of US goods from June 1, extending a bilateral trade war. The move comes three days after the US more than doubled tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports.
The escalation hit stock markets, with Asia markets falling yesterday after Wall Street closed with sharp losses.US President Donald Trump had warned China not to raise levies but Beijing said it would not swallow any “bitter fruit” that harmed its interests.
Items affected include beef, lamb and pork products, as well as various varieties of vegetables, fruit juice, cooking oil, tea and coffee.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a news briefing in Beijing that China would “never surrender to external pressure”.
The move hit stock markets in the US on Monday, with the Dow Jones and the S&P 500 closing down 2.4 per cent, while the Nasdaq index lost 3.4 per cent. Yesterday, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 1.6 per cent.
The latest round of US-Chinese trade negotiations ended in Washington on Friday without a deal. The US argues that China’s trade surplus with the US is the result of unfair practices, including state support for domestic companies. It also accuses China of stealing intellectual property from US firms.
As well as ordering a tariff increase on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, Trump also directed the US trade department “to begin the process of raising tariffs on essentially all remaining imports from China”, estimated to be valued at around $300 billion. –BBC