China imposes tit-for-tat tariffs as US duties came into effect

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China slapped retaliatory tariffs on $16 billion in US goods on Thursday as Washington imposed similar levies, saying Beijing had to “counter-attack” as trade tensions persist.

The US moves were “clearly suspected” of violating World Trade Organization rules, the commerce ministry said in a statement, adding that it would file a lawsuit against them under the WTO’s dispute resolution mechanism.

The official Xinhua news agency, citing the government tariff commission, said later that Beijing had imposed tit-for-tat tariffs at the same time as the US duties came into force.

Earlier on Thursday, the United States imposed steep import tariffs on another $16 billion in Chinese goods in the dispute over what US officials say is the rampant theft of American technology.

That completes the first round of $50 billion in products that President Donald Trump targeted, after $34 billion in goods were hit with punitive duties on July 6.

China has said earlier it will react immediately with tariffs on the same amount of US goods, targeting iconic products like Harley Davidson motorcycles, bourbon and orange juice, among hundreds of others.

Earlier reports suggested that the first round of President Donald Trump’s 25 percent punitive tariffs on China will hit $50 billion in goods starting August 23.

Washington already imposed tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese products on July 6. But it held off on a final $16 billion as a result of concerns raised by US companies. Full story

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