BEIJING — As hefty new tariffs went into effect Monday in the escalating trade war, China accused America of “trade bullyism,” intimidating other countries and adopting protectionist policies that would harm the global economy.

The largest tariffs yet – U.S. tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods and reciprocal Chinese tariffs on $60 billion in American products – were implemented Monday amid fears the conflict is likely to drag on at least until next year.

China’s retaliation will likely see the Trump administration move ahead with an additional $267 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods. Almost half of China’s exports to the U.S. are now affected by tariffs, making them more expensive and less attractive to consumers.

On top of the trade war, military tensions have sharply exacerbated tensions between Beijing and Washington in recent days after the imposition of U.S. sanctions on China’s military for buying Russian fighter jets and a missile system. China summoned U.S. Ambassador Terry Branstad on Saturday to complain about the sanctions. It argues that its decision to buy Russian military hardware last year was an arrangement between two sovereign countries and none of America’s business.

China released a white paper Monday, cited by the state-run New China news agency, saying that since the Trump administration’s “America First” policy went into effect, Washington has “abandoned fundamental norms of mutual respect and equal consultation that guide international relations.”

“Rather, it has brazenly preached unilateralism, protectionism and economic hegemony, making false accusations against many countries and regions, particularly China, intimidating other countries through economic measures such as imposing tariffs, and attempting to impose its own interests on China through extreme pressure,” the news agency said.


The tariffs on $200 billion worth of goods, now levied at 10 percent, will rise to 25 percent by the beginning of next year unless the countries reach a deal. China’s new tariffs on U.S. goods have been set at 5 percent to 10 percent.

Earlier this year, the U.S. levied tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods. China retaliated by imposing tariffs on $50 billion in U.S. goods. President Trump has threatened tariffs on an additional $267 billion of Chinese goods should China retaliate – which would mean virtually all Chinese imports to the U.S. would be affected.

The white paper, titled “Facts about the China-U.S. trade dispute and China’s stance,” published by the State Council, said China had been “answering the U.S. concerns with the greatest level of patience and good faith. However, the U.S. side has been contradicting itself and constantly challenging China.”

The New China agency reported the aim of the white paper was to “clarify the facts,” spell out the benefits of U.S.-China trade and pose solutions to the conflict.

As well as the white paper, China also took its arguments on the trade war to the swing state of Iowa, one region hit hard by the trade war. The state-owned China Daily paid for a four-page advertising supplement in the Des Moines Register on Sunday, targeting Iowa soybean farmers hurt by China’s moves to switch to imports from Brazil and grow more of its own soybeans. The advertising supplement called the effects of the trade war the “fruit of a president’s folly.”

The main U.S. demands are long-term and fundamental policy changes, such as insisting that China behave more like a market economy rather than subsidizing key state industries, making it difficult for foreign firms to compete. It also accuses China of forcing foreign firms to transfer technological know-how to Chinese partners, and of the theft of American technology.


Trade talks in recent months have not narrowed the gap between the two sides and no resolution is expected this year. As it drags on, the trade war is likely to hit the global economy. Some companies may be forced to shift production out of China, but others, such as furniture companies, will find it difficult to find manufacturers elsewhere able to produce at the scale of manufacturers based largely in southern China.

In the longer term, China is likely to work harder to develop its own high-tech industries instead of relying on American components, a policy already spelled out in its “Made in China 2025” plan. The plan lays out China’s ambition to be a global leader in some high-tech industries such as artificial intelligence, robotics and superconductors.

Both sides say they are open to talks, yet neither side appears willing to budge in a significant way.

China was due to send Vice Premier Liu He to Washington this week for negotiations on a framework for trade talks, but the trip has been called off.

The new U.S. tariffs affect 5,745 Chinese items, including frozen meat, fish, vegetables, chemicals, gasses, handbags, clothing, furniture, fertilizers and TV components. The original list of more than 6,000 was reduced after consultations with business. Items such as smartwatches, Bluetooth devices, bicycle helmets and child safety equipment such as playpens and high chairs were excluded at the last minute.

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