The trade war continues apace as the US government places a 25% tariff on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods, along with new limits on Chinese investments in the US tech industry.
Less than two weeks ago, China and the US had reached a ceasefire. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had announced that they were “putting the trade war on hold” while the two countries tried to agree on a trade framework.
But according to the latest White House statement, the tariff will be reintroduced based on a report by the US Trade Representative Office that followed seven months of investigation into China’s trade practices.
The US administration has declared that China “pursued industrial policies and unfair trade practices including dumping, discriminatory non-tariff barriers, forced technology transfer, over capacity, and industrial subsidies that champion Chinese firms and make it impossible for many United States firms to compete on a level playing field.”
China had previously promised to “significantly increase” purchases of US goods and services to offset the US’ trade deficit with China, a sticking point for President Donald Trump.
“We were both surprised by and expecting the statement issued by the White House,” said China’s Commerce Ministry. “This statement is obviously in violation of the consensus reached in Washington recently by both China and the United States."
China insisted that it would safeguard the interests of its own people and urged the US “to move in the direction of the spirit of the joint communique.”