Business: China vows ‘necessary countermeasures’ on Trump tariffs

Vice Premier Liu He (right) with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer earlier this month
Vice Premier Liu He (right) with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer earlier this month

Beijing has said it will respond in kind if President Trump imposes higher tariffs on Chinese goods on Friday.

The Chinese Commerce Ministry said that if the US tariff measures are implemented, it would take “necessary countermeasures”.

The warning comes as US and Chinese officials prepare to meet over the next two days.

On Wednesday President Trump tweeted that Vice Premier Liu He “is now coming to the U.S. to make a deal. We’ll see.”

On Sunday Mr Trump said on Twitter the US would more than double tariffs on $200bn (£152bn) of Chinese goods on Friday and could introduce fresh tariffs.

Explaining the move on Monday, US trade representative Robert Lighthizer said China had backtracked on commitments in trade talks.

However, he insisted a deal with Beijing was still possible.

The Chinese Commerce Minstry said in its statement: “The escalation of trade friction is not in the interests of the people of the two countries and the people of the world.

“The Chinese side deeply regrets that if the US tariff measures are implemented, China will have to take necessary countermeasures.”

Mr Trump’s claim that Beijing is looking to strike a trade agreement followed an earlier tweet, in which he claimed to know why China had reneged on its promises.

He said if a Democrat was elected in the 2020 US presidential election, Beijing hoped the new administration would take a softer line on trade.

China’s trade surplus with the US has remained unchanged despite the escalating trade war.

However, on Wednesday China reported a 2.7% fall in total exports.