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  • U.S. President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping meet business leaders at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

    U.S. President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping meet business leaders at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. | Photo: Reuters file

Published 10 May 2019

World leaders have pointed out the threat of a potential trade war, which could result in the curbing of growth and potential losses for the world economy.  

China's Commerce Ministry released an official statement Friday stating that the Asian country will be taking "necessary countermeasures" to Donald Trump's announcement of increasing tariffs on Chinese goods entering the United States.

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While the specifications of what those countermeasures entail have yet to be confirmed, the Chinese government expressed deep regret over the unfruitful trade negotiations between the two countries. 

The announcement was made immediately after the deadline for the tariff hike, as no deal was established before it had passed. The hike will result in a tariff increase from 10% to 25% on US$200 billion in Chinese products from across 5,700 categories. 

A Chinese delegation is currently in Washington conducting the most recent round of trade negotiations.

"The 11th round of China-U.S. high-level economic and trade consultations is underway. China hopes the two countries can meet each other halfway and make joint efforts to solve the existing problems through cooperation and consultation," the ministry's statement said. 

The tariff increase was announced with only a week's notice.

The White House has accused Beijing of backtracking on its promises, specifically in the areas of intellectual property theft and technology transfers. U.S. nationals are expected to notice an increase in the cost of Chinese goods in only a few months, which Trump hopes will encourage them to purchase domestic products instead. 

Several experts and world leaders have pointed out the threat of a potential trade war, which could result in the curbing of growth and potential losses for the world economy.  

"The tariffs already in place have cost the [U.S.] technology sector about $1 billion more a month since October. That can be life and death for small businesses and start-ups that can't absorb the added costs," the chief executive of the Consumer Technology Association, Gary Shapiro, explained. 

On Thursday, Chinese media outlet the Global Times asserted that China had been anticipating any outcome and was prepared for the worst.

"China is well-prepared for an escalation in trade tensions. A variety of plans are in place, such as countermeasures for any tariff rise, and favorable policies to minimize losses for Chinese enterprises," the editorial read.

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