In a move against “United States unilateralism,” China has revealed a list of imported U.S. products worth US$50 billion that could be subject to higher tariffs.
A list of products including automobiles, soybeans, aircraft, and industrial chemicals will be subjected to a 25 percent tariff. “The date of implementation will depend on when the U.S. government imposes the tariffs on Chinese product,” the Chinese Ministry of Finance said.
The move is an equal, tit-for-tat response to the Donald Trump administration's proposed tariffs on Chinese goods, also a 25 percent hike worth US$50 billion.
The tariff on soybeans, in particular, is strategically beneficial for Chinese agriculture, with substantial U.S. agricultural subsidies having flooded world markets, making it difficult for farmers around the world to compete.
China's state paper, Global Times, said: “Hawkish politicians in Washington have obviously overestimated the capability and endurance of the U.S. economy in a trade war since they believe they can do whatever they like. China has shown a great deal of restraint for now, but if the U.S. persists in this trade war, China is ready to fight to the end...
“It is worth noting that China strikes the U.S. side by targeting its most valuable imports, such as soybeans, automobiles, and chemical products... Although China will sustain financial losses thanks to the U.S.' Section 301 investigation tariffs, they will pale in comparison to the damage done to the U.S. economy via China's retaliation.”
China has also filed a suit through the World Trade Organization's settlement framework over the tariffs, saying that the U.S.' trade war is “an evident violation of rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO).”
China is confident that their lawsuit will win the case. He Weiwen, an executive council member at the China Society for the WTO, told the Global Times: “Given the clear rules, China's lawsuit against the U.S. through the WTO is like suing a thief who is stealing in the street.”