BEIJING – China lashed out at the US on Thursday, the day before a trade war is set to erupt between the world’s top two economies, saying that Washington is effectively “firing at itself”.
Washington is poised Friday to impose new tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese imports, with Beijing pledging to hit back immediately dollar for dollar.
“The US has provoked this trade war, we do not want to fight it, but in order to safeguard the interests of the country and the people, we have no choice but to fight,” said China commerce ministry spokesman Gao Feng.
Washington’s targets for higher border taxes focus on industrial components like PC parts, fuel pumps, construction equipment and autos, according to trade data firm Panjiva.
Gao noted that most of those exports are actually made by the US and international companies in China.
“On the US’s so-called list of $34 billion in taxable products, about $20 billion or 59 percent of them, are made by foreign-invested enterprises, with American companies representing a significant portion,” said Gao.
“The US’s measures are essentially attacking the global supply and value chain. Simply put, the US is opening fire on the whole world, and also firing at itself.”
Noting reports that the US could add a tax on essentially every product shipped from China, Gao said that using the tariff stick to bully on trade runs against the trend of the times.
“China will not bow in the face of threats and blackmail,” he added.