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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 September 2018

China hits back against Trump trade tariffs

Items on Beijing’s hit list included fresh and dried fruits, ginseng, nuts, wine, and pork, as well as certain steel products

<p>A container ship docks at the Yangshan port in Shanghai. a trade war could knock China&#39;s economic plans off kilter. AP Photo</p>
<p>A container ship docks at the Yangshan port in Shanghai. a trade war could knock China&#39;s economic plans off kilter. AP Photo</p>

China will change its tariff treatment for more than 100 types of US imported goods, primarily certain fruits and pork products on Monday, in a previously announced response to US tariffs on steel and aluminium imports.

China’s Customs Tariffs Commission, in a statement posted on the website of the Ministry of Finance on Sunday, said it took the decision with the approval of the State Council. China said previously it planned to seek compensation for trade lost to the US metals actions.

President Donald Trump last month announced tariffs on imported aluminium and steel on national security grounds that Beijing says violate World Trade Organisation rules. The US has since announced some exceptions for allies, including Canada and Australia. China on Sunday said the metals tariffs “caused serious damage” to its interests.

Items on Beijing’s original hit list, issued on March 23, included fresh and dried fruits, ginseng, nuts, wine, and pork, as well as certain steel products, with a value of about $3 billion – a tiny fraction of its imports from the US. So far, high-volume agricultural exports to China, such as soybeans, have not been swept into the mix.

Beyond its actions on metals, the Trump government is preparing to propose a list of other Chinese products to be targeted with tariffs. Mr Trump announced that the US will impose duties on about $50 billion in Chinese goods to punish Beijing for what Washington considers widespread violations of American intellectual property.

US trade representative Robert Lighthizer has until April 6 to release the list. Commerce secretary Wilbur Ross said on March 28 that an announcement on the measures will come “very shortly.” China has said it has a plan to act further if the import levies on its goods goes ahead.

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