China vows ‘counterattack’ on Trump administration tariffs

Container ship is docked at the Yangshan port in Shanghai. [Photo Credit: AP Photo]

The Latest on a U.S. trade dispute with China (all times local):

9:45 a.m.

China’s government says it will “counterattack with great strength” if President Donald Trump goes ahead with plans to raise U.S. tariffs on an additional $100 billion worth of Chinese goods.

A Commerce Ministry spokesman said Friday that negotiations were impossible after Trump responded to Beijing’s protests about his earlier plan to raise duties on $50 billion of Chinese goods by announcing still more possible tariff hikes.

The spokesman, Gao Feng, said at a news conference: “If the U.S. side announces the list of products for $100 billion in tariffs, the Chinese side has fully prepared and will without hesitation counterattack with great strength.”

Gao gave no details of what measures Beijing might take.

Gao said, “under these circumstances, the two sides cannot possibly conduct any negotiations about this issue.”

8:45 a.m.

President Donald Trump is pleased that that aluminum prices are down after he imposed new tariffs. He tweets, “People are surprised, I’m not!”

Trump tweeted Friday: “Despite the Aluminum Tariffs, Aluminum prices are DOWN 4%. People are surprised, I’m not! Lots of money coming into U.S. coffers and Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!”

In March, Trump imposed tariffs on imported steel and aluminum but exempted most major countries except China and Japan.

The trade dispute between the U.S. and China has escalated in recent days.

Trump spoke about the clash in an interview with the “Bernie and Sid” radio show on 77 WABC Radio that was taped Thursday and aired Friday. He said there “could be a little pain.” But he added, “We’re going to have a much stronger country when we’re finished.”

1:30 a.m.

China’s commerce ministry says Beijing is prepared to fight the U.S. “at any cost” as a trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies escalated with President Donald Trump ordering the U.S. trade representative to consider slapping an additional $100 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods.

The ministry said in a statement Friday that if Washington persisted in what Beijing describes as protectionism, China would “dedicate itself to the end and at any cost and will definitely fight back firmly.”

Trump’s surprise directive Thursday came a day after Beijing announced plans to tax $50 billion in American products, including soybeans and small aircraft, in response to a U.S. move this week to slap tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese imports.

1 a.m.

President Donald Trump has instructed the U.S. trade representative to consider slapping $100 billion in additional tariffs on Chinese goods.

The move comes a day after China issued a $50 billion list of U.S. goods including soybeans and small aircraft for possible tariff hikes in an escalating and potentially damaging dispute.

The White House says Trump has instructed the Office of the United States Trade Representative to consider whether $100 billion of additional tariffs would be appropriate under section 301 and, if so, to identify which products they should apply to.

He’s also instructed his secretary of agriculture “to implement a plan to protect our farmers and agricultural interests.”

Trump argues China’s trade practices have led to the closure of American factories and the loss of millions of American jobs.

Republished with the permission of the Associated Press.