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China fires back at Trump tariffs
June 16, 2018, 2:26 pm

File photo of US President Donald Trump with Chinese President Xi Jinping. It is unclear how the tariffs will affect their warm relationship

China on Saturday continued its second day of harsh criticism of the Trump administration for imposing tariffs set to go into effect on July 6.

A Chinese state newspaper said the US President had an “obsession with playing the disgraceful role of global economic disruptor.”

“The wise man builds bridges, the fool builds walls,” it said.

The Chinese government said it was disappointed in US President Donald Trump’s decision to slap a 25 per cent tariff on some $50 billion Chinese goods, but said it was going to continue multilateral, anti-protectionist trade policies.

The Chinese appear to have been taken back by Trumps decision on Friday, especially since the two sides have been in extensive sides to avert a trade war of tit-for-tat tariffs and penalties.

Saying that the Americans are flip-flopping in the issue, the Ministry of Commerce in Beijing said: “This move not only hurts bilateral interests, but also undermines world trade order. The Chinese side firmly opposes that.”

China has for months said it did not want a trade war but would retaliate against the US.

Other countries have made similar pledges.

The US tariffs affect some 1,000 Chinese products and are split in two stages – applied on $34 billion in products to go into effect on July 6, followed by tariffs on $16 billion to be applied later.

Trump accused China of unfair trade practices which have helped push a trade deficit to nearly $400 billion.

He also accused China of many years of siphoning US technologies as well as intellectual property theft.

China retaliated, saying it will impose an additional 25% tariff on more than 600 US products worth $50 billion but also in two stages beginning July 6.

Meanwhile, International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde also took a shot at Trump’s protectionist policies saying his tariffs approach risked dragging down the world economy as well as America’s.

“As I have said before, in a so-called trade war, driven by reciprocal increases of import tariffs, nobody wins,” she said. “Let us not understate the macroeconomic impact.”

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies