American president Donald Trump raised tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports from 10% to 25% on Chinese products, according to China’s Ministry of Commerce.
Beijing responded just minutes after the tariffs went into effect and China vowed to retaliate.
“China expresses deep regret over the development and will have to take necessary countermeasures,” the Ministry of Commerce said in a statement Friday afternoon. “We hope the United States will meet us halfway, and work with us to resolve existing issues through cooperation and consultation.”
Reactions in Asia markets were mixed.
The news came when the markets were already in positive territory.
Japanese Nikkei index lost 1%, the Shanghai Composite Index rose 2% and the Hong Kong Hang Seng rose 1%.
A Chinese delegation led by negotiator Liu He arrived in Washington on Tuesday, for the last round of negotiations.
Liu said he “hoped he could have a rational and honest exchange with his American counterpart.” According to Liu, tariffs are not the solution to problems and are harmful to China and the United States.
Trump’s move took American companies by surprise that they only had 5 days to prepare.
According to CNN, “The tariff increase inflicts significant harm on US industry, farmers and consumers,” said Jacob Parker, vice president of the US-China Business Council, a trade group that represents American companies’ interests in China.
“It will decrease the competitiveness of American companies, reduce the efficiency of their global supply chains, and reverberate through the US economy. Pure and simple, this is a tax on the American consumer,” he added.
Photos: Matteo Damiani