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China strongly opposes U.S. tariff hikes, pledging measures to defend rights

China strongly opposed the United States’ tariff hikes, its commerce ministry said on Tuesday, vowing it will take resolute measures to defend its rights and interests.

“U.S. raising Section 301 tariffs violates President Biden’s commitment to ‘not seek to suppress and contain China’s development’ and ‘not to seek to decouple and break links with China’,” said a statement by the ministry, adding the move will “seriously affect the atmosphere of bilateral cooperation.”

U.S. President Joe Biden on Tuesday unveiled a bundle of steep tariff increases on an array of Chinese imports.

The new measures affect $18 billion in Chinese imported goods including steel and aluminum, semiconductors, batteries, critical minerals, solar cells and cranes, while retaining Trump-era tariffs on over $300 billion in goods.

“The U.S. should immediately correct its wrongdoing and remove the additional tariffs imposed on China,” the Chinese commerce ministry urged in the statement.

The Biden administration officials said their measures are “carefully targeted” and unlikely to worsen a bout of inflation that has already angered U.S. voters and imperiled Biden’s re-election bid.

Some analysts said the impact from the new tariff hikes on China may be limited in the short run.

Nomura analysts said in a note on Monday that U.S.-bound exports of Chinese EVs, medical supplies and semiconductor products only account for 5.9% of China’s overall exports to the United States and less than 1% of China’s total exports.

Still, the rising geopolitical concerns over the relationship between the world’s two biggest economies may dent market confidence, and China’s economy also faces challenges of a protracted property weakness and tepid demand.

(Reuters)

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Last Updated: 27th May 2024