China accused the United States of engaging in “trade bullyism” as the world’s two largest economies imposed fresh tariffs on each other’s goods on Monday, Reuters reports.
But while alleging that Washington was intimidating other countries to submit to its will through measures such as tariffs, Beijing also said it was willing to restart trade negotiations with the US if the talks are “based on mutual respect and equality,” the official Xinhua news agency said, citing a white paper on the trade dispute published by China’s State Council.
US tariffs on US$200 billion worth of Chinese goods and retaliatory tariffs by Beijing on US$60 billion worth of US products took effect at midday in Asia, though the initial level of the duties was not as high as earlier feared. The two countries have already slapped tariffs on US$50 billion worth of each other’s goods earlier this year.
Chinese products hit with new US duties include vacuum cleaners to internet-connected devices, while US goods targeted by Beijing include liquefied natural gas and certain types of aircraft.
Though a senior White House official last week said the United States will continue to engage China for a “positive way forward”, neither side has signaled willingness to compromise.
The US official said on Friday there was no date set for the next round of talks. The Wall Street Journal reported that China, which has accused Washington of being insincere in trade negotiations, has decided not to send Vice Premier Liu He to Washington this week.
Economists warn that a protracted dispute will eventually stunt growth not just in the US and China but across the broader global economy.
The trade tensions have also cast a pall over broader relations between Beijing and Washington, with the two sides butting heads on a growing number of issues.
Trade talks in Washington last month produced no meaningful progress.
The US administration will levy tariffs of 10 percent on the US$200 billion of Chinese products, with the tariffs to go up to 25 percent by the end of 2018.
Beijing set its new levies on US$60 billion of US goods at 5 and 10 percent and warned it would respond to any rise in US tariffs on Chinese products accordingly.
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