China said on Wednesday it will retaliate if the United States takes further steps hindering trade, after a source said the Trump administration proposes slapping 25 percent tariffs on $200 billion of imported Chinese goods.
The officials told reporters on a background call that Trump had directed U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to consider the higher tariff rate as part efforts to ensure that it has "the right tools in place in order to encourage China to change its actions".
In early July, the United States imposed 25 per cent tariffs on an initial $34 billion of Chinese goods.
"China is forced to take countermeasures", said a ministry statement.
The levies are in addition to the tariffs on $34 billion of imports that have already gone into effect and the $16 billion of tariffs announced but not yet implemented.
Rapid US GDP growth in the second quarter was mostly the result of tax cuts, which stimulated consumer spending, as well as a race to export soybeans and beat the tariffs.
But Trump's tariffs have drawn criticism at home in the United States for driving up costs for consumers and companies that rely on Chinese imports.
The United States has adopted an "escalate to negotiate" strategy towards China, threatening a dramatic hike in tariffs to try to force a resumption of trade talks while the U.S. economy remains strong and as elections approach in November'.
The highest penalties on the new list would be imposed on honey, vegetables, mushrooms and chemicals, targeting farming and mining areas that supported President Donald Trump in the 2016 election. He also has threatened a further round of tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese goods.
Trump recently threatened to slap punitive tariffs on all Chinese exports to the USA, which amounted to more than $500 billion previous year.
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Chinese authorities warned earlier that if the dispute escalated, they would adopt unspecified "comprehensive measures".
China's commerce ministry said the United States tactics will have no effect on China, and will disappoint countries that are against trade wars.
Urging cooler heads in Washington to prevail, Mr Wang made the case that United States tariffs would hurt its own consumers and businesses, given how globalised trade is today.
"China's position is very firm and clear and has not changed".
The dispute is part of broader US complaints about global trading conditions that have prompted Trump to raise duties on steel, aluminum, washing machines or solar panels from Canada, Europe, Japan and South Korea.
He said: "Sixty per cent of Chinese exports to the USA are actually made by foreign companies, including American firms in China".
Aerial view of containers at a loading terminal in the port of Hamburg, Germany August 1, 2018.
"The time is right for the GCC to reorient their global trade agreements and pivot towards Asia, including the long-delayed Free Trade Agreement with China".
With such figures, it's only logical that Trump's new tariffs will have drastic repercussions on GCC markets.
The Commerce Department said on Friday the trade gap surged 7.3 per cent to $46.3 billion.