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Implementation is set to start at midnight June 6 in both countries, which gives Beijing a 12-hour advantage on Washington. President Donald Trump has threatened to increase the scope to $450bn if China indeed retaliates against his 25-percent tariff.
The list of Chinese products targeted with U.S. tariffs include vaping devices, rare earth metals and LED light bulbs. A Reuters analysis found just 1 percent of the 1,102 categories of products imported from China to the U.S. are consumer goods. The rest are capital or intermediary products, taxed with the the intention of making American companies’ supply chains less reliant on Chinese goods.
China’s tariff targets include pork, wheat, rice and dairy products. The South China Morning Post said China is likely to cancel orders for 1.1 million tons of soybeans from the U.S. this year. China accounts for about half of America’s soybean exports, worth about $14bn annually, CNBC says.
Chinese newspapers described the move as a counterstrike in an escalating trade war. “China has already made preparations. As long as the United States issues a so-called tariff list, China will take necessary measures to firmly protect its legitimate interests,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a daily news briefing.
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