BEIJING — Beijing struck back Tuesday against President Trump’s new tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports, vowing it would immediately retaliate when they take effect and threatening a protracted dispute that could raise the prices of household goods in both countries.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has refused to budge amid mounting threats from Trump, who vowed to place higher border taxes on practically everything the United States buys from China if Beijing unveils new duties, effective Monday at noon.
“In order to safeguard our legitimate rights and interests and the global free trade order, China will have to take countermeasures,” the country’s Ministry of Commerce said in a statement. “We deeply regret this.”
The Chinese government will impose tariffs of up to 10 percent on an additional $60 billion in American goods following Trump’s escalation, slapping higher border taxes on nearly all U.S. exports to China.
Officials also signaled that they would add a complaint about the latest U.S. action to more than a dozen China has already lodged with the World Trade Organization.
Trump accused China in a pair of tweets Tuesday of targeting American workers in the heartland, wrongly saying the country had “openly stated” it was aiming to sway U.S. elections. (Beijing’s earlier round of tariffs, launched in July, hit U.S. soybeans and pork, among other goods.)
“China has openly stated that they are actively trying to impact and change our election by attacking our farmers, ranchers and industrial workers because of their loyalty to me,” Trump wrote.
“There will be great and fast economic retaliation against China if our farmers, ranchers and/or industrial workers are targeted!” he added.
Analysts said Xi’s defiance reflects his desire to present China to the world as a superpower.
“China needs to show that it will stand up to Trump and the United States in order to demonstrate to the rest of the world that it is now America’s rival,” said Shaun Rein, managing director at the China Market Research Group in Shanghai.
Trump’s latest measures inject uncertainty into the status of the trade talks, Chinese officials said, suggesting the commercial battle between the world’s two largest economies could drag on indefinitely.
Beijing said it hopes the American president will “correct” his actions before the Monday deadline, urging the White House to consider the far-reaching consequences. Economists say the cost of consumer products such as air conditioners, furniture, lamps and handbags will rise, since many American manufacturers assemble goods on Chinese soil.
But Trump has pledged to punch back if Beijing retaliates, this time on $267 billion in Chinese products.
China purchased roughly $130 billion in American goods last year — less than a third of what the United States ordered from Chinese enterprises. Now Beijing is poised to impose higher border taxes on a total of $110 billion in U.S. products.
China’s Foreign Ministry said it will respond to Trump’s latest round of tariffs with duties on more than 5,200 types of American imports, including industrial parts, chemicals and medical instruments.
Chen Dingding, founder of the think tank Intellisia in Guangzhou, said China will continue to welcome negotiations.
“We will fight and talk at the same time,” he said.
China’s vice premier, Liu He, was expected to visit Washington next week to restart negotiations with Treasury Secretary , but analysts say the $200 billion development likely knocked that meeting off the table.