China issued a $50 billion list of U.S. goods including soybeans and small aircraft for possible tariff hikes.
The country’s tax agency gave no date for the 25 percent increase to take effect and said that will depend on what President Donald Trump does about U.S. plans to raise duties on a similar amount of Chinese goods.
Beijing’s list of 106 products included the biggest U.S. exports to China, reflecting its intense sensitivity to the dispute over American complaints that it pressures foreign companies to hand over technology.
Earlier this week, NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons made a statement on President Trump’s tariffs.
“Manufacturers agree with President Trump that China’s theft of American intellectual property and their use of unfair trade practices represent clear threats to manufacturers’ competitiveness and the jobs of American manufacturing workers. Tariffs are one proposed response, but they are likely to create new challenges in the form of significant added costs for manufacturers and American consumers. In addition to these challenges, tariffs also run the risk of provoking China to take further destructive actions against American manufacturing workers.
“If the imposition of tariffs is the first bid in negotiating a more level playing field, manufacturers believe the end product must be a new, strategic approach that includes negotiating a fair, binding and enforceable rules-based trade agreement with China that requires them to end their unfair trade practices once and for all.”
A list the U.S. issued Tuesday of products subject to tariff hikes included aerospace, telecoms and machinery, striking at high-tech industries seen by China’s leaders as the key to its economic future.
China said it would immediately challenge the U.S. move in the World Trade Organization.
“U.S. companies at this point would like to see robust communication between the US government and the Chinese government and serious negotiation on both sides, hopefully to avoid a trade war,” said the chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China, William Zarit.
“I can only hope that we solve our differences as soon as possible to avoid damage to the U.S. economy, Chinese economy and to U.S. companies.”
The Chinese list Wednesday included soybeans, the biggest U.S. export to China, and aircraft up to 45 tons in weight. That excludes high-end Boeing Co. jetliners such as the 747 and 777, leaving Beijing high-profile targets for possible future conflicts.