The US-China trade war became intense again on Friday, as Beijing unveiled a new round of retaliatory tariffs on about $75 billion worth of US goods.
China will add additional tariffs of 5% or 10% on US imports starting on September 1st, according to a statement posted by China’s Finance Ministry.
The Ministry also announced plans to resume tariffs on US imports of automobiles and automobile parts. The tariffs would be 25% for vehicles or 5% on parts, and would take effect on December 15th. The new tariffs will target 5,078 products, including soybeans, coffee, whiskey, seafood and crude oil.
China said last week that it would take countermeasures after the United States announced it would impose 10% tariffs on Chinese imports worth $300 billion.
The United States postponed until December the implementation of about half of those tariffs, which will cover several categories of Chinese-made consumer goods. They had been due to take effect in September.
President Donald Trump responded quickly, saying Friday afternoon he was increasing rates on existing tariffs on Chinese goods.
The $250 billion of goods and products from China currently being taxed at 25% will be taxed at 30%, Trump said on Twitter. The remaining $300 billion of goods and products that was to be taxed at 10% will now be taxed at 15%, Trump wrote.
Trump said US companies should move operations from China in response to their tit-for-tat tariffs.
“We don’t need China and, frankly, would be far better off without them,” Trump wrote on Twitter. He also “ordered” American companies “to immediately start looking for an alternative to China.”
The National Retail Federation issued a statement calling the demand “unrealistic.”
“For years, retailers have been diversifying their supply chains, but finding alternative sources is a costly and lengthy process that can take years. It is unrealistic for American retailers to move out of the world’s second largest economy,” the group said. “Our presence in China allows us to reach Chinese customers and develop overseas markets. This, in turn, allows us to grow and expand opportunities for American workers, businesses and consumers.”