China: 'We're Ready to Retaliate Against US Tariffs'

US President Donald Trump

"However, if the Untied States adopts taxation measures, China will be forced to fight back to defend the core interests of the nation and the interests of the people", Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said, according to USA Today. As an example, Chinese companies are reselling USA soybeans, and Chinese companies are expected to cancel most of the remaining soybeans they have committed to buy from the United States in the year ending August 31, once the extra tariffs take effect.

"All we can do is adjust our supply chain here depending on the size of the price increases". Separately, China's customs agency said retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods will come immediately after United States duties on China kick in. "China will not bow in the face of threats and blackmail", added Mr Gao.

USA tariffs on a range of Chinese goods will come into effect at midnight on Thursday in what could turn out to be the first fusillade in a trade war between the world's two largest export nations.

Gao also said United States business interests would suffer from the first set of tariffs, with about US$20 billion of the targeted goods, or 59 per cent, produced by foreign firms, including USA ones. According to Bloomberg, President Trump will cut as much as half a percentage point from staggering growth levels of around 6.9 percent.

"With these stories coming out (about vehicle tariffs), you have a sector which has been very oversold meeting some potential good news on the trade war front", said Bank of America Merrill Lynch European equity strategist James Barty.

Despite the escalating rhetoric and explosive tweets, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, attacked Presdient Trump last week for not being tougher on China.

And Gao noted that of the $34 billion in taxable products on the United States list, about $20 billion - or almost two thirds - are made by firms with foreign investment, including a "significant portion" from America.

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Beijing has promised to retaliate in kind, though it said overnight that it would "absolutely not" fire the first shot in a trade war. "So certainly the fact that we're now talking about automotive tariffs against the Europeans - where there is a problem, where the European tariffs against USA cars are four times what the American tariffs are against European cars - that's something that potentially really disrupts supply chain and will hurt American corporations and eventually the American economy".

Of the US$34 billion worth of goods to be subject to tariffs, the spokesman said that around 59% are made by overseas companies, a large proportion of which were US-based.

The U.S. also has irked some of its closest allies by hiking import duties on steel, aluminum and autos from Europe, Japan, Canada and Mexico.

They also worry the sparring between Washington and Beijing could fuel anti-American sentiment among Chinese consumers.

Chinese stock fell Wednesday due to fears of a looming trade war. The overall value mirrors US tariffs, which also are set to kick in on Friday.

This set off furious negotiations, which eventually resulted in a tentative trade agreement between the Trump administration and Chinese officials.

Trump has threatened other measures created to limit China's ability to access the US.

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