China says it is 'shocked' by United States actions in trade dispute

Canola is an “imperfect substitute” for soybeans
Mike Drew  Postmedia

China slammed the US threat to expand tariff hikes to imports including apples, fish sticks and French doors as a "totally unacceptable" escalation of their trade battle on Wednesday and vowed to protect its "core interests".

A senior administration official told Fox News that China has been "non-responsive" to USA actions and has insisted that Beijing does not see any way America has been hurt by Chinese policies.

By Aug. 30, as the USA nears mid-term elections vital for Trump's legislative agenda, the White House will be ready to impose 10 per cent tariffs on US$200 billion of Chinese-made products, ranging from clothing to television parts to refrigerators.

Accusing China of not negotiating "seriously" on trade, the Trump administration has released a list of products it wants to impose a ten percent tariff on, amounting to $200 billion.

"Don't start a trade war and throw the soybean farmer under the bus because some big business lobby in Washington is whining about China's terms of business", he said.

Beijing has vowed to "fight back as usual" after Donald Trump's tit-for-tat trade war with China escalated once again last night. It's an extensive list of over 6,000 goods that include seafood, propane and toilet paper, among many other things.

"The Chinese government as always will have no choice but to take the necessary countermeasures", said China's ministry of commerce in a statement, without elaborating further. Tesla is among companies hit by an additional 25 percent in import duties, imposed by Beijing in retaliation to a tariff hike by the Trump administration.

But China also faces difficulties in retaliating directly: it ships far more goods to the United States ($506 billion previous year, according to USA figures) than come back in the opposite direction ($130 billion).

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The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China said this week its member companies are rearranging their trade shipments to ensure any bound for the United States don't pass through China. Beijing has retaliated with duties on the same value of United States imports, ranging from soybeans to cars, and has vowed to respond proportionally to any new U.S. tariffs.

China's commerce ministry said it was "shocked" and would complain to the World Trade Organisation, but did not immediately say how it would retaliate.

As a leading grain trader in these regions, Cofco could help to meet domestic demand, he said.

"Trump's escalation of trade hostilities makes it increasingly hard to envision an exit path from an all-out trade war".

"China seems to have no interest in bending and they will retaliate".

"Tonight's announcement appears reckless and is not a targeted approach", said Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch in a statement. The prospect of an global trade war has sent jitters through world markets.

Administration officials said a two-month process would allow the public to comment on the proposed tariffs before the list is finalised.

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