White House slams China’s ‘weak’ tariff threat and ‘lousy’ economy

White House slams China’s ‘weak’ tariff threat and ‘lousy’ economy

"I might think the $60 billion is a weak response to our $200 (billion)", Kudlow said dismissively, while admitting that "there is a lot they can do to damage our companies in China".

China earlier announced it has prepared a list of $60 billion worth of US goods to hit with duties should the USA follow through on a plan to impose tariffs on an additional $200 billion of Chinese goods, as early as next month.

"China's differential tax rate countermeasures are rational and restrained", the Ministry of Commerce said in a separate statement on its website.

The statement said the date of implementation of the taxes will depend on the "actions of the USA side" and China reserves the right to apply "other countermeasures".

The Chinese finance ministry said 5,207 goods imported from the USA could be subjected to the fresh tariffs, with levies ranging from 5% to 25% on products including aircraft, soya bean oil, smoked beef, coffee and flour.

Washington imposed 25 percent duties on $34 billion of Chinese goods on July 6.

The US has already imposed 25pc tariffs on $34b worth of Chinese imports, with another $16b to be targeted in coming weeks.

China's finance ministry unveiled new sets of additional tariffs on 5,207 goods imported from the United States, with the extra levies ranging from 5 to 25 percent. China recently threatened to slap retaliatory tariffs on an additional $60 billion in USA goods.

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White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow warned China after it announced its retaliatory tariffs, saying Beijing should not underestimate US President Donald Trump's determination to act on trade.

Trump has threatened to slap tariffs on virtually all of China's exports to the United States in the tit-for-tat trade conflict. Jake Colvin, vice president of the National Foreign Trade Council, said the Trump administration could be boxing itself into a corner. China's trading partners complain those might violate its market-opening pledges by subsidizing or shielding Chinese companies from competition.

Washington and Beijing are locked in a battle over American accusations that China's export economy benefits from unfair policies and subsidies, as well as from the theft of American technological know-how.

Trump has said he is determined to reduce the large US trade deficit with China.

The two countries have been embroiled for months in a trade conflict that has threatened to hurt consumers in both countries. On Friday officials also stepped into cushion the yuan, which has been battered by trade tensions and was approaching the key level of seven to the dollar.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (left) and China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi (right) shake hands during their bilateral meeting at the 51st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Singapore on Aug 3, 2018.

Today's threat targeting a smaller amount of US goods reflects the fact that Beijing is running out of products for retaliation due to its lopsided trade balance with the United States.

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