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Iran Press TV

Beijing vows fast response to Trump's China tariffs

Iran Press TV

Fri Jun 15, 2018 10:39AM

China has warned to rapidly retaliate if the United States goes ahead with tariffs that are expected to be announced by President Donald Trump; a move that could set the stage for a major escalation in an ongoing trade dispute between Beijing and Washington.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a news conference on Friday that Beijing "will quickly react and take necessary steps to resolutely protect our fair, legitimate rights," if Washington "takes unilateral, protectionist measures, harming China's interests."

Trump is expected to announce a 25 percent tariffs on about $50 billion of Chinese products on Friday. A new list of targeted Chinese products is expected to be released.

Earlier this year, the US released an initial list of 1,300 product categories, ranging from pharmaceuticals to flat screen televisions. Some new products will now replace some of the items from the initial list.

While Trump has resorted to tariffs with enthusiasm, many at home, including the US business community and many Republicans in Congress are strongly opposing them, saying tariffs and other trade barriers make Americans poorer and raise prices.

Americans for Prosperity President Tim Phillips said there are better ways to negotiate trade deals than by "punishing American consumers and businesses with higher costs."

"Instead of pursuing protectionist policies that we already know don't work, let's help everyone win by expanding trade, opening new markets and lowering costs," Phillips said.

Trump's tariffs have even been opposed by some within his inner circle, including Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin, who has been arguing for negotiations with Beijing.

He formerly said the two sides were stepping back from a possible trade war after two days of talks that produced "meaningful progress."

Several round of negations, however, failed to resolve the issue; and Trump's latest decision which appears to be worsening the dispute, has again raised concerns about a possible trade war between the two world powers.

Although the tariffs affect less than 10 percent of the $505 billion in Chinese imports, Trump's trade barriers mark a historic change after three decades of deepening ties between the world's two largest economies.

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