China urged the United States on Friday to pull back from President Donald Trump’s plans for tariffs on $60 billion in Chinese goods. This move brings the world’s two largest economies even closer to a trade war.
On Thursday, the Trump administration unveiled tariffs intended to punish China for intellectual property theft, imposing about $60 billion in retaliatory charges.
Tensions between Beijing and Washington are escalating and have sent shivers through financial markets as investors predicted horrible consequences for the global economy if trade walls start going up.
According to a statement issued on Friday by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, China is planning to take legal action against the U.S. under the World Trade Organization framework. In response, Beijing on Friday said it may target 128 U.S. products with an import value of $3 billion. China plans a 25% tariff on U.S. pork imports and 15% tariffs on American steel pipes, fruit and wine, the statement said.
Beijing has promoted itself as a trade globalist in an attempt to contrast itself with Trump's protectionism.
Global equity markets have been under pressure as the Trump administration ramps up a protectionist trade agenda. Few weeks ago, Trump announced the implementation of tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, raising concerns about a potential trade war. Among the investors lobbies, many of them now fear China's response could mark the start of tit-for-tat trade actions.