PEKING (Reuters) – China will not be content to only play in an escalating trade war against the US, warned a well-read Chinese tabloid when US President Donald Trump announced early on new tariffs on Chinese goods worth $ 200 billion, as on Monday ,
FILE PHOTO: Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) waiting to be exported are seen in a port in Lianyungang, Jiangsu Province, China on April 5, 2018. REUTERS / Stringer / File Photo
The United States and China have already imposed tariffs on goods worth $ 50 billion each, which have worsened in global financial markets in recent months.
Last week, the US Treasury Department invited senior Chinese officials, including Deputy Prime Minister Liu He, to further discussions on the wage dispute, despite skepticism among trade observers on both sides about the prospects for a breakthrough.
China's foreign ministry reiterated that the escalation of the trade dispute does not interest anyone.
"We have always maintained that the only way to resolve the trade dispute can be achieved through dialogue and peer-to-peer consultation and mutual respect," said Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang at a regular press conference.
A senior government official told Reuters over the weekend that Trump is likely to announce the new tariffs on Monday.
In the early morning tweets, Trump said that impressive fares bolstered the United States bargaining position and that cost increases for goods had been "almost unnoticed" so far.
"If the countries do not do fair business with us, they'll be tariffed," Trump wrote.
The Global Times, published by the People's Daily of the ruling Communist Party, wrote in an editorial: "It's nothing new for the US to try to escalate tensions to gain more profits at the negotiating table."
"We look forward to a better counterattack and will increase the pain in the US," said the Chinese-language column.
In addition to retaliatory tariffs, China could also limit the export of goods, raw materials and components to US supply chains, former Finance Minister Lou Jiwei said on Sunday at a Beijing forum, one participant said.
Lou is chairman of the National Social Security Fund.
The person who attended the event and was familiar with White House thinking said that such a move would likely trigger harsh reprisals from Washington, which has explored its own limits on exporting key technologies to China.
"Lou Jiwei's approach would feed the toughest feelings in the US government," the person said, refusing to be identified in the face of the sensitivity of the matter.
China is a major supplier of low grade metals and rare earths used in consumer electronics and other products.
Beijing said it would take revenge to wage a war escalation with its own tariffs and qualitative measures it does not specify, but is perceived in the US business community as an increased customs and regulatory control.
Beijing may also refuse to participate in planned trade talks with Washington later this month if the Trump administration introduced additional tariffs, the Wall Street Journal said Sunday, citing Chinese officials.
The journal report quoted a high-ranking Chinese adviser who said that China would not negotiate "with an upside-down weapon."
China has not publicly committed to a new round of negotiations, but in the past, talks have broken off in the face of escalating conflict.
In April, when Trump threatened the tariffs on another $ 100 billion of Chinese goods, which were then considered a major escalation, China said it would not conduct talks "under these conditions."
The top Chinese diplomat, State Councilor Wang Yi, will arrive in New York this week for the annual United Nations General Assembly, Beijing announced Monday.
Trump has called for China to lower its $ 375 billion trade surplus with the United States, end US technology and intellectual property policies, and withdraw high-tech industrial subsidies.
Repeated Chinese vows to reform what critics have argued is one of the world's most constrained markets among the major economies have sparked in recent years "promise fatigue" among foreign business groups who saw changes as piecemeal.
Trump has said he will no longer allow China to trade in the United States, although resistance to escalating tariffs has increased in the United States business community in recent weeks.
Michigan governor Rick Snyder, known as a moderate Republican and former computer expert, told Reuters on a trip to China that fear and uncertainty about tariffs could limit Chinese investment in the US.
"If you do not know what the rules are or how it will work, you'll be quite reluctant to make that investment," said Snyder, who was in China to promote his state's industries, including autonomous vehicle technology.
There would likely be a "lagging effect" from US trade disputes with China, Canada and Mexico that could undercut the positive effects of Trump's tax cuts, he said.
"I would encourage national governments to resolve it as soon as possible because it is a concern for all."
Reporting by Michael Martina, Ryan Woo and Christian Shepherd; additional reporting by Susan Heavey in Washington; Cut by Shri Navaratnam and Nick Macfie