Beijing [China]: China threatened to take “necessary countermeasures” if the United States increases tariffs on Chinese goods worth USD 200 billion from 10 per cent to 25 per cent from May 10, according to an official statement.
“China deeply regrets this, and will be forced to take necessary countermeasures if the US side puts the tariff measures into effect,” Chinese state media quoted an official statement as saying. They further said that escalating trade frictions are against the interests of “the two peoples as well as people of the world.”
This comes as US President Donald Trump alleged that the Chinese side “broke the deal,” hence inviting a fresh increase in tariffs.
“You see the tariffs we’re doing? Because they broke the deal! The (Chinese) Vice Premier (Liu He) is flying in tomorrow, good man, but they broke the deal. They can’t do that…If we don’t make the deal, nothing wrong with taking in over 100 billion a year. We never did that before,” Trump said during a rally on Wednesday, according to CNN.
Both US and China are trying to negotiate a way out of the trade dispute which is ongoing since last year.
Trump met with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Argentina in December, where both the leaders agreed to hold talks and work towards a trade deal which would end what has been dubbed as a “trade war” between the two states.
The US President earlier alleged that the country loses nearly USD 500 billion in trade with China every year, adding that they were not “going to be doing that anymore.”
The US had earlier abstained from enforcing an increase in tariffs on Chinese imports in March, citing the progress made in trade negotiations – an approach which seems to be changing in present times.
Major stock markets across Asia have taken a hit due to escalating trade tensions between Beijing and Washington.
Markets in Hong Kong sank nearly 2 per cent, while the Shanghai Composite Index (SHCOMP) and Japan’s Nikkei Index (N225) dropped around 1 per cent each in the wake of the fresh threats.
Thailand, on the other hand, lost an estimated USD 780 million worth of export revenue in the last 12 months owing to the trade row, Bangkok Post quoted the country’s commerce ministry as saying.