Trump’s Trade War Escalates As China Promises Retaliation

The President has proposed a 25 percent tariff on Chinese goods.

Donald Trump and Xi Jinping
Thomas Peter - Pool / Getty Images

The President has proposed a 25 percent tariff on Chinese goods.

The Chinese government has promised that it would hit back if the Trump administration followed through with its threats to place a 25 percent tariff on Chinese exports, CNBC reports.

Currently, the tariff sits at 10 percent, the initial rate set by Trump to try and put pressure on China to cave into the administration’s demands on trade, but on Wednesday Chinese officials said that “blackmail would not work”.

Among the items that would be targeted in the tariffs include his favored issues of car products, steel, and aluminum, reports the Inquisitr. The tariffs would target a total of $200 billion worth of goods, and would significantly escalate the war of words between the two countries.

China has consistently argued that the United States’ handling of the trade discussions are bullying and has refused to give in to Trump’s tactics, which the government says will continue to not work.

“U.S. pressure and blackmail won’t have an effect,” said Geng Shuang a Foreign Ministry spokesman said in his regular news briefing. “If the United States takes further escalatory steps, China will inevitably take countermeasures and we will resolutely protect our legitimate rights.”

With the two countries, the two largest economies in the world any escalation in the trade war could set back the entire global economy, limiting the growth of recent years with many U.S. investment groups condemning the hard-line stance of the Trump administration.

There have been attempts from representatives of the U.S. Treasury and the Chinese Vice Premier’s office to try and restart negotiations around trade in an effort to diffuse what is becoming a full-blown trade war.

Reflecting that the U.S-China dispute is quickly boiling over into a furious trade war are statements from Trump that this set of tariffs would come as a result of China’s retaliation to the initial tariffs of $34 billion worth of goods, with the president threatening a third round of tariffs on $300 billion worth of goods should China retaliate again.

Erin Ennis the senior vice president at the U.S.-China business council made it very clear where these tariffs would be felt in the United States.

“Given the scope of the products covered, about half of all imports from China are facing tariffs, including consumer goods the cost increases will be passed on to customers, so it will affect most Americans’ pocketbooks.”

So far the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office has declined to comment on the proposed tariffs in any way, but citizens of both countries will be watching closely.