Donald Trump

By Gaurav Sharma

Beijing: China on Wednesday announced that it will slap additional 25 per cent tariff on $16 billion worth of US products in retaliation to Washington’s latest round of duties, escalating the trade battle between the two countries.

The 25 per cent tariffs will come into effect on August 23 and target 333 US products including coal, bicycles, trucks, vehicle engines and chemicals, the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council said.

The move came after US President Donald Trump on Tuesday announced similar tariffs on China, affecting imports such as electronic parts, plastics, chemicals, batteries and railway cars.

In a statement, the Chinese Commerce Ministry said that the US once again put domestic law above international law by imposing “very unreasonable” new tariffs on Chinese goods. Beijing will implement the tariff measure with the US simultaneously, the ministry said.

The tariffs mark the latest round in a protracted trade battle between Trump and China, with tens of billions of dollars in tariffs against Beijing already in effect.

China has hit back with retaliatory tariffs, many of which targeted agricultural industries in states in the midwest that overwhelming went for Trump in 2016.

The Department of Agriculture earlier announced a $12 billion aid plan to help farmers affected by Chinese tariffs, despite criticism from lawmakers in both parties.

Trump also imposed steep tariffs on imported steel and aluminum from Canada, Mexico and the EU. Businesses in the US complained that the tariffs were forcing them to raise prices and eliminate jobs.

Earlier, Trump asserted that the measures were “working big time”, and again vowed to imposed tariffs against countries that doesn’t want to “make or build” products in the US.