BEIJING AFP, Aug 23 2018 - The United States slapped steep tariffs on another $16 billion in Chinese goods on Thursday, triggering a swift tit-for-tat retaliation from Beijing, even as negotiators from both sides seek to soothe trade tensions.
The latest action completes the first round of $50 billion in Chinese products that President Donald Trump targeted with Beijing striking back at American products dollar-for-dollar at each step.
China “firmly opposes the tariffs and has no choice but to continue to make the necessary counter-attacks”, the commerce ministry said in a statement.
Beijing hit back with tariffs on an equal amount of US goods, targeting iconic products such as Harley-Davidson motorcycles, dump trucks and asphalt, among hundreds of others.
China’s commerce ministry said the US tariffs were “clearly suspected of violating WTO rules” and noted it would file a lawsuit against them under the WTO’s dispute resolution mechanism. The escalation came as the world’s two largest economies hold their first formal discussions since June on the spiralling trade war.