China hits back, slaps new tariffs on 106 US products

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Beijing, April 4 (IANS) China in no time hit back by slapping tariffs of worth $50 billion on 106 US products on Wednesday, hours after Washington decided to impose import taxes on 1,300 Chinese products.

The Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council has decided to impose an additional tariff of 25 per cent on 106 items of products under 14 categories, Xinhua quoted the Chinese Finance Ministry as saying.

The Ministry said the move was in response to Washington’s proposed list of products subject to additional tariffs, which covered Chinese exports worth $50 billion with a suggested tariff rate of 25 per cent.

The date of implementation will depend on when the US government impose the tariffs on Chinese products, the Ministry said.

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The Chinese Commerce Ministry said the US move was “an evident violation of rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO)”.

Washington’s action “severely infringed on the legitimate rights and interests that China enjoys in accordance with the WTO rules, and threatened China’s economic interests and security”, said the Commerce Ministry.

New tariffs China decided to impose on US products were a reaction to “the emergency caused by the US violation of international obligations”, it added.

Affected products will include a wide variety of agricultural products such as soybeans, corn, beef, orange juice and tobacco. A range of chemicals and automobiles as well as aircraft with unladen weight between 15 and 45 tonnes, will also be subject to the tariffs, Xinhua said.

The trade war between the world’s two largest economies has escalated. The US says it is taxing Chinese products as punitive measures against Beijing’s arm-twisting American companies to transfer their technology in return of letting them do business in China.

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Beijing says although doors for talks are always open for Washington, it will give befitting reply if it faces the heat.

(Gaurav Sharma is the IANS correspondent in Beijing. He can be contacted at [email protected])

–IANS

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