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China warns retaliatory measures if Trump slaps more tariffs ahead of crucial trade talks

Friday, May 10, 2019

Beijing: China has threatened to retaliate if US President Donald Trump raises tariffs on USD 200 billion worth of goods ahead of the crucial 11th round of talks aimed at ending the trade war between the world's two largest economies.

The talks are due to be held on May 9-10 in Washington between trade delegations headed by Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin amid accusations by Washington that Beijing is backtracking from consensus reached on key issues in the earlier rounds of talks.

Ahead of the talks, US President Donald Trump said that he would raise tariffs on USD 200 billion worth of Chinese goods from 10 per cent to 25 per cent as of May 10 in a bid to pile up pressure on China to conclude the talks to end the trade war at the earliest.

In a late-night announcement on Wednesday, the Chinese Commerce Ministry while expressing regret over the planned measures by the US to raise tariffs on imported Chinese products, said it would launch retaliatory measures in kind.

Stating that escalating trade frictions is against the interests of the two peoples as well as people of the world, the Ministry said: "China deeply regrets this, and will be forced to take necessary counter-measures if the US side puts the tariff measures into effect".

However, there appears to be no change from the Chinese side in its participation in the trade as the announcement neither made any reference to the 11th round of talks nor Liu's participation in it.

The US and China are locked in a trade war since Trump imposed heavy tariffs on imported steel and aluminium items from China in March last year, a move that sparked fears of a global trade war. In response, China imposed tit-for-tat tariffs on billions of dollars worth of American imports.

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