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Defying Trump, China Slaps Tariffs on 128 U.S. Products

But the latest announcement said the tariffs that will take effect on Monday covered all 128 products, including the 25 percent charge on pork.

The ministry said it had Chinese public opinion on its side after asking for views about the trade measures. Over recent weeks, China’s state-run news media has condemned the Trump administration’s protectionist steps and presented China as the innocent defender of open trade. In fact, China imposes relatively high barriers on many imports and on foreign investment in many sectors.

“Many members of the public voiced their support for the measures and the product list through telephone calls, emails and other means,” the ministry said. “After an assessment, it was decided to implement the measures described on 128 products imported from the United States.”

Mr. Trump’s threatened tariffs on $ 60 billion worth of other Chinese-made products are likely to prompt more retaliation from China, which could single out more valuable American exports such as soybeans and hurt Apple and other companies that rely heavily on Chinese consumers.

Liu He, a Chinese vice premier and economic adviser to President Xi Jinping, told Steven Mnuchin, the American Treasury secretary, in a phone call just more than a week ago that the two countries should “stay rational and work together to maintain the overall stability of their economic and trade relations.”

But Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, who has been visiting Beijing, said on Saturday that Chinese officials she met, including Mr. Liu, “have not deviated from their talking points” about the Trump administration’s tariffs.

“America is waking up to the loss of its technological advantage through China’s restrictions on access to its internal markets,” she told reporters. “That is now a place where policy is beginning to change.”

Source: NYT > World

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