China threatens retaliatory tariffs on United States products

China vows to fight US sanctions over alleged technology theft

Modal Trigger A container is loaded onto a cargo ship at the Tianjin port in China. AP

China responded in kind on Friday, announcing proposed tariffs on 128 USA products worth close to $3 billion. China's Shanghai Composite Index closed down 3.4% while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index ended 2.5% lower.

The dollar dipped to 104.85 yen as investors shifted into the Japanese currency, which is viewed as a "safe haven" from risk.

"We're doing something that will be the start of making trade with China more fair", Trump said.

Overall, the nation's farmers shipped almost $20 billion of goods to China in 2017. And China has struck back. The USTR said Trump had ordered it to pursue a World Trade Organization case against Beijing's "discriminatory technology licensing".

"From China's perspective, it absolutely does not want to see a trade war".

"Even free traders and internationalists agree China's predatory trade practices, which include forcing USA businesses to transfer valuable technology to Chinese firms and restricting access to Chinese markets, are undermining both its partners and the trading system", it said. "But it means a new recognition that China is not the friend, the democracy and the free market we all hoped for over the last 30 to 40 years - something quite different".

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The sectors most rattled by news of the tariffs, which could be as high as 25 percent, are the aerospace, information/communication technology, and machinery industries.

Betty Wang, an economist at ANZ bank, said China's reaction was "relatively mild".

The U.S. has complained for years about China's sharp-elbowed trading practices, accusing it of pirating trade secrets, manipulating its currency, forcing foreign companies to hand over technology, and flooding world markets with cheap steel and aluminum that drive down prices and put U.S. manufacturers out of business. "Nevertheless, the first volley of shots and retaliatory response has been set off".

Additionally, the government argued that the Trump administration's use of national security as the basis for tariffs on steel and aluminum was a smokescreen and the restrictions were economic-based.

"I've spoken to the (Chinese) president". We have great relationships with China.

U.S. President Donald Trump's announced tariff plan targeting China could hurt Taiwanese companies with factories in China but benefit "made-in-Taiwan" (MIT) products, scholars predicted Friday.

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On Thursday, the Chinese Embassy in Washington said that Beijing would not hesitate to respond to the tariffs on $60 billion worth of goods. It gave no indication of a possible response but the foreign ministry said Beijing will take "all necessary measures" to protect its interests.

"We have a tremendous intellectual property theft problem", Trump said.

The country could also take further measures, such as targeting United States agriculture - 60 percent of USA soya beans are sold to China.

The new order saw a 25 percent tariff on imports of steel and a 10 percent tariff on aluminium.

The ministry said Chinese purchases of those goods a year ago totaled $3 billion.

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said.

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