Beijing has made adequate preparations to respond to the U.S. on trade, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said Thursday.
Donald Trump unexpectedly announced on Sunday that tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods would increase to 25% this Friday, citing lack of progress on trade talks.
At the same time the Chinese side has already prepared a response for all kinds of outcomes, Gao Feng, commerce ministry spokesperson, said in Mandarin, according to a CNBC translation. He was speaking at Thursday’s weekly press conference.
He added that hopefully the U.S. and Chinese sides can resolve trade issues through negotiations, not one-sided actions.
On Sunday, President Trump announced on Twitter that tariffs would “shortly” be applied to $325 billion worth of imported goods from China, effectively putting duties on all Chinese goods sent to the U.S.
In response to a CNBC question about China’s reaction and the impact of those additional tariffs, Gao said, “We have explained many times that tariffs are not a way to resolve the issue.” He noted that U.S. companies and the world economy would be negatively affected by such tariffs, and did not comment on the direct impact of duties to China’s economy.
Gao did acknowledge in a report released at Thursday’s press conference that in light of international organizations’ downgrade of their view on global trade, unilateralism and protectionism, China’s exports do face downward pressure.
Beijing has remained relatively reserved in its response to Trump’s latest threats on tariffs, including the president’s comment Thursday morning Beijing time that China broke the deal. On Wednesday, Reuters reported, citing sources, that late last week the Chinese side reverted on basically all the points the trade negotiators had agreed upon so far.
The Ministry of Commerce did not put out a statement on countermeasures until late Wednesday night local time, about three days after Trump’s tweets.