China made the most recent move in the world-wide chess match focused on tariffs. China hit back with retaliation after President Trump imposed $200 billion of tariffs against Chinese goods Monday night.
The Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) said on Tuesday morning that it had “no choice” but to retaliate.
“In order to safeguard its legitimate rights and interests and the global free trade order, China will have to retaliate as a response,” a statement from the ministry said.
No one knows exactly what form the retaliation will take, but the ministry had previously threatened tariffs on $60 billion worth of US goods. That would mean between 85% and 95% of American imports coming into China would be subject to a tariff.
Trump’s fresh wave of tariffs now mean that over half of all Chinese goods coming into the US will be subject to duties.
“For months, we have urged China to change these unfair practices, and give fair and reciprocal treatment to American companies,” Trump said in a statement.
“We have been very clear about the type of changes that need to be made, and we have given China every opportunity to treat us more fairly. But, so far, China has been unwilling to change its practices.”
Some are questioning whether these new tariffs imposed by the Trump administration will derail plans for China’s top economic adviser to come to the US for trade talks. The South China Morning Post reports that plans to send vice-premier Liu He for meetings with senior US officials may now be scrapped.
“We have been stressing that talks need to happen on the basis of parity, equality and good faith,” a spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry said at a press briefing, according to the Financial Times.
“What the US has done shows no sincerity and good faith at all.”
According to Business Insider, here is a timeline of the US-China trade war to date:
- March 1: President Donald Trump announces tariffs on all imports of steel and aluminum, including metals from China.
- March 22: Trump announces plans to impose a 25% tariff on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods. China announces tariffs in retaliation to the steel and aluminum duties and promises a response to the latest US announcement.
- April 3: The US trade representative announces a list of Chinese goods subject to the tariffs. There is a mandatory 60-day comment period for industries to ask for exemptions from the tariffs.
- April 4: China rolls out a list of more than 100 US goods worth roughly $50 billion that are subject to retaliatory tariffs.
- May 21: After a meeting, the two countries announce the outline of a trade deal to avoid the tariffs.
- May 29: The White House announces that the tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods will move forward, with the final list of goods released June 15. The move appears to wreck the nascent trade deal.
- June 15: Trump rolls out the final list of goods subject to new tariffs. Chinese imports worth $34 billion would be subject to the new 25% tariff as of July 6, with another $16 billion worth of imports subject to the tariff at a later date. China retaliates with an equivalent set of tariffs.
- June 18: Trump threatens a 10% tariff on another $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.
- July 6: The first tranche of tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods takes effect; China responds in kind.
- July 10: The US releases an initial list of an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese goods that could be subject to a 10% tariff.
- August 1: Washington more than doubles the value of its tariff threats against Beijing, announcing plans to increase the size of proposed duties on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25% from 10%.
- August 3: China says it will impose tariffs of various rates on another $60 billion worth of US goods if Trump moves forward with his latest threat.
- August 7: The US announces that the second tranche of tariffs, which will hit $16 billion worth of Chinese goods, will go into effect on August 23.
- August 23: The US imposes tariffs on another $16 billion worth of Chinese goods, and Beijing responds with tariffs on $16 billion worth of US goods.
- September 7: Trump says the tranche of tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods is coming “soon” and threatens to impose tariffs on another $267 billion worth of Chinese goods.
- September 17: Trump announces 10% tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, saying China has “been unwilling to change its practices.”
- September 18: China say it has “no choice” but to retaliate to the fresh tariffs in order “to safeguard its legitimate rights and interests.”