China announces retaliatatory tariffs as Trump defends United States moves

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China's finance ministry said on Monday it planned to impose tariffs ranging from 5 per cent to 25 per cent on 5,140 USA products on a target list worth about US$60 billion from June 1, striking back after USA raised duties last week. "China should not retaliate - will only get worse!" Brent crude gained 0.07% to $70.28 per barrel. President Trump has pledged to broaden tariffs even further to all Chinese imports - including big-ticket items. Just $5 a month.

Despite optimism from officials in recent weeks that the talks were moving towards a deal, tensions reignited last week after Trump administration officials accused China of trying to backpedal on issues already agreed to in the negotiations. "The only problem is that they know I am going to win (best economy & employment numbers in USA history, & much more), and the deal will become far worse for them if it has to be negotiated in my second term".

"We had a deal with China. Would be wise for them to act now, but love collecting BIG TARIFFS!"

The president also introduced a new argument that consumers can avoid the tariffs by buying non-Chinese goods.

China had vowed "necessary countermeasures" on Friday against Trump's escalation.

In a previous round of tit-for-tat moves, the USA imposed 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports in September.

China has vowed retaliation in response to USA tariffs, and the president said he plans to send a portion of the funds raised by tariffs to American farmers who are bearing the brunt of the trade war.

The president's tweets come as he carried through on a threat to raise tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods from 10 percent to 25 percent, while directing his economic team to explore possibly imposing new tariffs on virtually all other Chinese imported goods not now subject to USA tariffs.

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Beijing had set additional rates of 5% and 10% on 5,207 USA products worth $60 billion in September, in response to the U.S.'s initial 10% duty on the $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, and warned at the time that it would counter any higher tariffs imposed by Washington.

"We hope that the USA side does not misjudge the situation and not underestimate China's determination and will to safeguard its interests".

Major changes to Chinese law, enforced and monitored by another country is something China will never accept nor could it if it wanted to not only save face at home but overseas.

What are the USA and China fighting about?

China said on Monday it planned to set import tariffs ranging from 5% to 25% on 5,140 US products on a $60 billion target list.

State television said in a commentary the effect of the USA tariffs on the Chinese economy was "totally controllable".

USA officials are targeting a $300 billion list of additional Chinese imports including laptop computers for tariff hikes, ratcheting up a trade fight that is shaking financial markets and fueling fears about global economic growth. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index fell 3.4 percent for the day, its worst decline in 2019. He emphasized the talks' ongoing nature and discouraged the term "trade war", saying the tariffs were simply part of the negotiations. Trump sees himself as the ultimate dealmaker and might believe that he has to personally intervene to get Xi to budge.

Other analysts point to a smaller impact, though, particularly for the United States, the world's largest economy. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said Friday that Trump ordered the U.S.to begin the process of imposing increased tariffs on the $300 billion of Chinese exports not affected by last week's hike. In some cases, China might absorb some of the cost to stay competitive, but for the most part, it's folks in the USA who will pay the price. Moody's Analytics says that fallout from the higher US tariffs could reduce USA economic growth - 2.9% last year - by 1.8 percentage points a year from now.

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