US goods have been hit with tariffs totalling $3 billion, as China shows intent to counter any Washington trade move.

By Joe McDonough

Posted on April 3, 2018

China has responded strongly to the Trump administration’s steel and aluminium tariffs, by imposing new import taxes on 128 US goods.

Eight of those products — including scrap aluminium and frozen pork — will be hit with 25% tariffs, while the other 120 — fruit, nuts, wine and rolled steel etc — will cop 15% levies.

It is expected to cost the States approximately $3 billion, the same loss China is anticipating as a result of the tariffs slapped on its steel and aluminium.

After the State Council released the list of US goods, an op-ed published in Chinese newspaper the Global Times, warned the country would not allow America to dictate terms.

“For every single move against Chinese interests, the US can expect retaliation,” it read.

“Even though China and the US have not publicly said they are in a trade war, the sparks of such a war have already started to fly,” the article read.

The sparks of such a [trade] war have already started to fly.

Those sparks could potentially lead to an out of control inferno, with US President Donald Trump just days away from unveiling a final list of Chinese goods to be slapped with 25% duties.

This second round of tariffs would dwarf the steel and aluminium hike, with approximately $60 billion worth of goods being targeted.

This follows the investigation under Section 301 of the 1974 US Trade Act that resulted in the White House accusing China of systematically misappropriating American intellectual property.

China strenuously denies the allegations, and is urging Washington to engage in dialogue.

“Cooperation is the only valid option for China and the United States,” the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said.

If Trump does go through with the second round of tariffs, China’s state-run news agency Xinhua cautioned it has “yet to unsheathe its sword”.

One of its first moves would likely be the targeting of key US exports like soybeans, which accounted for $US14 billion in US-to-China exports in 2016, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

“This is a signal that China is prepared to do more, since these tariffs were in response to US steel and aluminium tariffs, not the $US60 billion in other tariffs announced by the US in response to widespread Chinese theft of US intellectual property,” Greg Valliere, chief global strategist at Horizon Investments told Business Insider.

“Talks on this bigger issue are underway between the two countries; failure to make progress in these talks could lead to serious Chinese tariffs.”