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China will follow through with retaliatory measures announced Friday and fight the trade war to the end, in the face of the U.S.’s failure to keep its promises, the state-run People’s Daily wrote in a Saturday editorial.
Later, the influential Chinese journalist Hu Xijin said on Twitter that the U.S. is “starting to lose China.”
On Friday, Beijing unveiled plans to impose additional tariffs on $75 billion of U.S. goods, including soybeans, automobiles and oil. The nation will “walk the talk” in implementing its third round of retaliatory measures, according to the newspaper.
China has been forced into countermeasures by U.S. unilateralism and trade protectionism, the paper said, adding that Washington has been erratic in imposing tariffs on China and has shown “amnesia” in honoring its promises.
Trade tensions between the two nations escalated on Friday after President Donald Trump said he’s raising tariffs on Chinese imports in response to the measures announced by Beijing. Anticipation of Trump’s actions, which were foreshadowed by a series of angry tweets, sent global stock markets reeling.
Existing U.S. duties on $250 billion of Chinese imports will rise to 30% from 25% on Oct. 1, while a planned 10% tariff on a further $300 billion in Chinese goods will jump to 15%, starting with the first tranche on Sept. 1, Trump said in tweets Friday.
China’s Ministry of Commerce issued a strongly-worded statement on Saturday saying the U.S. was involved in “unilateral and bullying trade protectionism” that puts the normal international trade order at risk.
Trump, for his part, suggested in an overnight tweet that he was looking at the “Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977” in ordering U.S. companies to quit China. “Case closed!” Trump concluded.
That measure -- technically, the International Emergency Economic Powers Act -- gives U.S. presidents wide latitude to regulate international commerce at times of national emergencies. It’s unclear how Trump could use the law in the current situation to have U.S. companies bend to his will.
Hu, editor-in-chief of the Global Times, a tabloid newspaper controlled by China’s ruling Communist Party, accurately predicted the timing of China’s retaliatory tariffs on Friday.
On Saturday, he said China “has ‘lost’ the U.S. already,” citing high tariffs, the ban on telecoms company Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., political hostility, and actions toward Hong Kong and Taiwan. “We’re facing a completely different United States. We have nothing more to lose, while the US is just starting to lose China,” Xu said.
While the Global Times doesn’t necessarily reflect the view of Chinese leaders, Hu has said the paper voices opinions that official sources can’t.
Hu earlier tweeted that if U.S. automakers heed Trump’s Friday call for “major American companies” to desert China, they would be giving up the market to Japanese and German brands. “Go back to the US, let each American family have 20 cars,” he tweeted, followed by a smiley face.
U.S. importers and retailers decried the latest moves by Trump.
“These escalating tariffs are the worst economic mistake since the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930 -- a decision that catapulted our country into the Great Depression,” Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association, said in a statement.
(Updates with China’s Commerce Ministry, CTA comment from seventh paragraph.)
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