China said on Tuesday that it had no choice but to retaliate against new U.S. trade tariffs, raising the risk that U.S. President Donald Trump could soon impose duties on virtually all of the Chinese goods that America buys.
According to Reuters, the Chinese commerce ministry’s statement came hours after Trump said he was imposing 10 percent tariffs on about $200 billion worth of imports from China, and threatened duties on about $267 billion more if China retaliated against the U.S. action.
The brief statement gave no details on China’s plans, but Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a news briefing later that the U.S. steps have brought “new uncertainty” to talks between the two countries.
“China has always emphasized that the only correct way to resolve the China-U.S. trade issue is via talks and consultations held on an equal, sincere and mutually respectful basis. But at this time, everything the United States does not give the impression of sincerity or goodwill,” he added.
Geng said he would not comment on “hypotheticals” such as what measures Beijing might consider apart from tariffs on U.S. products, saying only that details would be released at the appropriate time.
Trump warned on Monday that if China takes retaliatory action against U.S. farmers or industries, “we will immediately pursue phase three, which is tariffs on approximately $267 billion of additional imports.”
The latest U.S. duties spared smart watches from Apple (AAPL.O) and Fitbit (FIT.N) and other consumer products such as baby car seats. But if the administration enacts the additional tariffs it would engulf all remaining U.S. imports from China and Apple products like the iPhone and its competitors would not likely be spared, reports Reuters.
Last month, China unveiled a proposed list of tariffs on $60 billion of U.S. goods ranging from liquefied natural gas to certain types of aircraft – should Washington activate the tariffs on its $200 billion list.