China Indicates It Won’t Retaliate Against Newest U.S. Tariffs

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China Indicates It Won’t Retaliate Against Newest U.S. Tariffs(Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. China indicated that it wouldn’t immediately retaliate against the latest U.S. tariff increase announced by President Donald Trump last week, saying that it was more important to discuss removing the extra duties.“China has ample means for retaliation, but thinks the question that should be discussed now is about removing the new tariffs to prevent escalation of the trade war,” Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng told reporters in Beijing on Thursday. “China is lodging solemn representations with the U.S. on the matter.”When asked if that meant China wouldn’t retaliate at all for the latest escalation by the U.S., Gao didn’t elaborate but just repeated the same comments. China has retaliated against each previous tariff increase by the U.S., so not responding in kind this time may signal a change in strategy.The U.S. announced new tariff rates earlier this month on $300 billion of Chinese goods that will come into effect in September and December. Beijing then retaliated last week, announcing its own higher import taxes.That prompted a reaction from Trump, who tweeted that existing 25% tariffs on some $250 billion in imports from China would rise to 30% come Oct. 1, the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. He also hiked the new tariffs on $300 billion in goods due on Sept. 1 and Dec. 15 even higher.“Escalation of the trade war won’t benefit China, nor the U.S., nor the world,” Gao said. “The most important thing is to create the necessary conditions for continuing negotiations.”Gao said that both sides are discussing the previously announced trip in September by Chinese negotiators to Washington.If Chinese officials go to the U.S. for talks next month, the two sides should work together to create conditions for talks to progress, Gao said. Both sides are currently discussing the trip, and information on that will be released in a timely manner when available, according to Gao, indicating that the schedule isn’t set yet.(Updates throughout with more comments.)To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: James Mayger in Beijing at jmayger@bloomberg.net;Miao Han in Beijing at mhan22@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeffrey Black at jblack25@bloomberg.net, Daniel Ten KateFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


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