China ‘fights dirty’ with the US, approves tariffs on 125 products

The trade war between China and America is far from ending, with latest reports in the media confirming that President Xi Jinping’s government has increased tariffs by up to 25 percent on a total of 128 products from the U.S.

Products such as wine, frozen pork and certain fruits and nuts were listed among the high-tariff items. This decision from Beijing was triggered by Donald Trump’s recent imposition of taxes on imports of aluminum and steel.

The tariffs from China, which were effected on Monday, show an escalating dispute between the world’s biggest economies. China’s finance ministry announced on Sunday that it has prepared a list of possible tariffs on up to $3 billion in U.S. goods as the government machinery earlier published by on March 23.

After the Trump administration announced a regime of new import taxes, first on steel and aluminum and then on Chinese high-tech, Beijing threatened the U.S. saying its own tariffs were coming, and now, it has matched words with action.

China’s Ministry of Commerce said the U.S. had “seriously violated” the principles of non-discrimination under World Trade Organization rules, adding that the trade decisions from Mr. Trump crushed Beijing’s business interests.

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Xi’s government previously said it did not wish for a trade war with the US but added that such provocations, where unavoidable, would be embraced.

“China’s suspension of some of its obligations to the United States is its legitimate right as a member of the World Trade Organization,” the ministry said in a statement, according to the Washington Times.

Beijing previously called for more negotiations to resolve disputes between both countries. A editorial publication from Global Times released soon after the announcement from China, warned that if the United States had thought China would not retaliate or would only take symbolic counter-measures, it could “say goodbye to that delusion”.

“Even though China and the U.S. have not publicly said they are in a trade war, the sparks of such a war have already started to fly,” the newspaper said.

China’s Ministry of Commerce stated in its report that it has suspended all obligations to the World Trade Organization (WTO) to reduce tariffs on 120 U.S. goods, including fruit and ethanol, which Beijing said will be raised by an extra 15 percent.

“China’s suspension of its tariff concessions is a legitimate action adopted under WTO rules to safeguard 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,” the finance ministry added.

This retaliatory action from Xi’s country is believed to have worsened Mr. Trump’s anger, and the 71-year-old president is separately preparing to impose tariffs of more than $50 billion on Chinese goods following an investigation under Section 301 of the 1974 U.S. Trade Act, Reuters confirmed in its Tuesday publication.

The U.S. administration says China has systematically misappropriated American intellectual property, an allegation the Asian Tiger has vehemently denied.

There are speculations that the Trump administration will release a new list of Chinese goods that could be affected by new U.S. tariffs later this week.

Statistical reports show aircraft and soybeans were China’s biggest U.S. imports by value last year.

Mixed reactions from disgruntled Chinese nationals have poured in through the popular microblog platform Weibo, with one of the angry commenters saying that Chinese customers would be the ones to pay the ultimate price for this trade war.

“Why not directly target soybean and planes? The tariffs that China announced today don’t sound a lot to me,” said a user on the social media platform.

“I will never buy fruit from the U.S.,” another one added.