Barely 24 hours after the U.S. hit China with new tariffs on imports, Beijing fired a return salvo Saturday in a growing trade dispute with President Donald Trump by imposing duties on a $34 billion list of U.S. goods ranging from soybeans to whiskey to cigars.
Beginning July 6, China will slap an extra 25 percent tariff on 545 products from the United States including soybeans, electric cars, orange juice, whiskey, salmon and cigars, according to the Ministry of Finance.
China said additional tariffs on 114 more U.S. items, covering chemical products, medical equipment and energy, will be announced later.
“The Chinese side doesn’t want to fight a trade war, but facing the shortsightedness of the U.S. side, China has to fight back strongly,” the Ministry of Commerce said in a statement.
The ministry also said it was scrapping an earlier deal to buy more American farms goods, natural gas and other products that had been aimed at narrowing Beijing’s multibillion-dollar trade surplus with the United States.
The statement said the U.S. step on Friday violated “the relevant rules of the World Trade Organization” and went against a consensus reached in bilateral economic and trade agreements.
Such a move, it said, “seriously infringes upon the legitimate rights and interests of the Chinese side and undermines the interests of China and its people.”
“The Chinese side firmly opposes that,” the statement said, according to the official Xinhua news agency.