President Trump announced Friday morning that the United States will levy a 25% tariff on $50 billion of Chinese goods, pledging that if China retaliates that the U.S. will strike back. Friday afternoon, China retaliated.
It didn't take long for Beijing to strike back: China responded to the U.S. tariffs immediately, Friday morning, and unveiled details in the afternoon. The country will impose a 25% tariff on 659 U.S. goods worth $50 billion. Agriculture goods and autos will be included and they will take effect on July 6. According to Reuters, other goods will be announced at a later date.
A few hours earlier China had made it clear that big tariffs on U.S. goods were coming. China’s Commerce Ministry said early Friday that it “firmly objects” to the U.S. trade sanctions, according to Reuters, and that it harms interests on both sides. The ministry added that China will impose a tariff measure of similar size and intensity.
Trump's tariffs, meanwhile, are being levied on Chinese goods with industrially significant technologies, including goods related to China’s Made in China 2025 strategic plan to dominate the emerging high-technology industries that will drive economic growth for China but hurt economic growth for the United States and many other countries.
The White House in a statement also vowed to strike back if China retailiates against the $50 billion in tariffs.
According to the U.S. Trade Representative the tariffs cover 1,102 separate product categories, initially they were considering 1,333. Some consumer goods such as flat-panel television sets were dropped, according to Reuters.
The first set of tariffs will apply 25% duty on 818 product lines, and the second set of tariffs contains 284 proposed product lines identified as benefiting from China’s industrial policy. Tariffs will be collected on the initial tranche of products starting July 6.