Update: Beijing responded that it would retaliate with tariffs in equal scale to the $50BN of duties on Chinese goods unveiled by the Trump administration.
“China will immediately introduce countermeasures of the same scale and strength,” an unnamed Chinese commerce ministry spokesperson announced on the ministry’s website.
Earlier in the day, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a regular daily news briefing said that “If the United States takes unilateral, protectionist measures, harming China’s interests, we will quickly react and take necessary steps to resolutely protect our fair, legitimate rights.”
Meanwhile, US Trade Rep was on Fox News where he tried to downplay the significance of the trade war and the severity of the moves, and says that he hopes that they don't lead to a "rash" reaction from China.
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At 8am EDT on Friday, as previewed extensively the the US formally announced the list of Chinese products to be hit with tariffs.
In the first official shot in the US-Chinese trade wars, the US will implement 25% tariff on $50BN in Chinese imports, representing 1,102 product lines with the list of imported goods among those listed on China’s 2025 plan.
The tariffs will be implemented in two tiers, the first one on July 6, and will cover $34BN in imports, and a second wave, which will cover the remaining $16BN, or 284 product lines, and will undergo further review in a public notice and comment process, including a hearing.
Today's official escalation followed the disclosure in April of a preliminary list targeting about 1,300 products worth $50 billion in Chinese imports, and which was subject to public comment.
Having warned earlier in the week that he would confront China “very strongly” over trade in the coming weeks, Trump this morning said in a statement that the “The United States can no longer tolerate losing our technology and intellectual property through unfair economic practices."
He added that “These tariffs are essential to preventing further unfair transfers of American technology and intellectual property to China, which will protect American jobs,” he said. “In addition, they will serve as an initial step toward bringing balance to the trade relationship between the United States and China.”
Some more details on the list of goods:
USTR TO FURTHER REVIEW $16B IN IMPORTS IN 2ND WAVE OF TARIFFS
Just as notable, the US vowed to pursue more tariffs if China retaliates, which as we speculated, is the reason why the Trump admin also plans on releasing a list of $100BN in goods subject to tariffs, and which can be implemented as soon as 60 days.
The full statement by the President Regarding Trade with China is below:
My great friendship with President Xi of China and our country's relationship with China are both very important to me. Trade between our nations, however, has been very unfair, for a very long time. This situation is no longer sustainable. China has, for example, long been engaging in several unfair practices related to the acquisition of American intellectual property and technology. These practices, documented in an extensive report published by the United States Trade Representative (USTR) on March 22, 2018. harm our economic and national security and deepen our already massive trade imbalance with China.
In light of China's theft of intellectual property and technology and its other unfair trade practices, the United States will implement a 25 percent tariff on S50 billion of goods from China that contain industrially significant technologies. This includes goods related to China's Made in China 2025 strategic plan to dominate the emerging high-technology industries that will drive future economic growth for China. but hurt economic growth for the United States and many other countries. The United States can no longer tolerate losing our technology and intellectual property through unfair economic practices.
These tariffs are essential to preventing further unfair transfers of American technology and intellectual propertv to China. which will protect American jobs. In addition. they will serve as an initial step toward bringing balance to the trade relationship between the United States and China.
The United States will pursue additional tariffs if China engages in retaliatory measures, such as imposing new tariffs on United States goods, services, or agricultural products: raising non-tariff barriers: or taking punitive actions against American exporters or American companies operating in China.
And here is the full announcement from the US Trade Rep website:
SECTION 301 PRODUCT LIST
And now we wait China's retaliation.
Here is the full list of goods subject to tariffs, first from List A (pdf link here):
And then List B (pdf link here):