China threatens U.S. with $60B in tariffs on coffee, honey

The move is a response to the Trump administration's recent threat to raise the proposed tariff rate on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25% from 10%.

The ministry also said that the United States measures violated the World Trade Organization rules and damaged China's interests.

The U.S. president has accused China and others of exploiting the United States in global trade, and has demanded Beijing make a host of concessions to avoid the new duties on $200 billion of Chinese goods, which could be imposed in the weeks after a comment period closes on September 5.

The People's Bank of China will impose a reserve requirement of 20 percent on some trading of foreign-exchange forward contracts, according to a statement on Friday evening.

The United States alleges that China steals US corporate secrets and wants it to stop doing so, and is also seeking to get Beijing to abandon plans to boost its high-tech industries at America's expense.

"Instead of retaliating, China should address the longstanding concerns about its unfair trading practices, many of which are laid out in [the U.S. Trade Representative's] 301 report", White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said.

Beijing's Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council said the tariffs would range from 5 percent to 25 percent.

Trade threats unnerve global markets
Mr Trump has ultimately threatened tariffs on more than $US500bn in Chinese goods, covering virtually all U.S. imports from China. China says the United States is trying to stop the rise of a competitor and it has imposed its own tariffs on US goods.

The Trump administration slapped duties on US$34 billion of Chinese goods last month, which prompted immediate retaliation from China, and another US$16 billion will likely follow in the coming days or weeks.

Trump announced a further round of 25 percent of tariffs June 15 on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods. "It has seriously violated the principles of the World Trade Organisation", Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post quoted the statement as saying.

The Chinese commerce ministry blamed the United States for escalating the situation. LNG's inclusion marks a deployment by Beijing of one of its last major weapons from its energy and commodities arsenal in its fight with Washington.

The US tariffs now in place or threatened add up to nearly half of the value of goods it imported from China a year ago. The inquiry found that Chinese theft of USA intellectual property was costing the US economy billions of dollars. The refusal by Beijing's anti-trust regulators to approve the deal effectively made Qualcomm the first casualty of the trade dispute, even though China said it had nothing to do with the issue.

Today's threat targeting a smaller amount of USA goods reflects the fact that Beijing is running out of products for retaliation due to its lopsided trade balance with the United States.

"The U.S. gas industry will be much harder hit by this as China imports only a small volume whereas U.S. suppliers see China as a major future market".

China became the world's second-biggest LNG importer in 2017, as it buys more gas in order to wean the country off dirty coal to reduce pollution.

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