White House says Trump's resolve is firm on China trade

Donald Trump

Traders and financial professionals work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) at the opening bell, August 2, 2018 in New York City.

Beijing has announced plans to slap import taxes targeting 5,207 American products worth $60 billion in retaliation to trade tariffs on Chinese goods imposed by the US.

The move was in reaction to a threat from Washington earlier this week to increase tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25 percent from 10 percent.

A statement said: "Any unilateral threat or blackmail will only lead to intensification of conflicts and damage to the interests of all parties".

Speaking at a press conference on Friday, foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said: "The Chinese side calls on the United States to return to rationality, and eradicate its mistakes to create the right conditions for resolving the problem".

The commerce ministry threat came after Wang met with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Singapore on Friday. "China is increasingly isolated with a weak economy".

The ministry also said the USA measures violated World Trade Organisation rules and damaged China's interests.

President Donald Trump this week ordered officials to consider imposing a 25 per cent tax on US$200 billion worth of imported Chinese goods, up from an initial 10 per cent rate.

"We are coming together with the European Union to make a deal with them, so we'll have a united front against China and, I think, most of our trade team would tell you, we're moving close on Mexico", he said.

The Chinese commerce ministry blamed the United States for escalating the situation.

President Trump has threatened to up the ante further by slapping £150bn ($200bn) worth of Chinese goods with levies of up to 25 percent.

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