China’s commerce ministry says the country has no choice but to fight back after the US “launched the largest trade war in economic history,” as Washington’s 25 percent tariffs on various Chinese imports go into effect.
“On July 6, the US began to impose 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports. The US has breached WTO trade rules and launched the largest trade war in economic history to date,” the ministry’s statement read .
The Trump administration’s new 25 percent duties apply to 818 Chinese imports worth $34 billion. They are the first stage in levies threatened by the US on a total of $450 billion worth of Chinese goods.
China warned that while it promised not to “fire the first shot,” it will now be forced to “counterattack” in order to defend its core interests. Beijing has vowed to inform the World Trade Organization and work with other countries to “jointly safeguard free trade and the multilateral system.”