China says will 'fight back firmly' if USA publishes additional tariffs

China, claiming the United States had "launched a trade war", retaliated nearly immediately, outlining its own tariffs on USA goods worth $50 billion.

Security guards walk in front of containers at the Yangshan Deep Water Port in Shanghai, China on April 24, 2018.

Trump is angry that China is imposing tariffs on $50bn of USA imports - in retaliation to his original tariffs on $50bn of Chinese goods.

In the latest move in a nascent trade war, President Trump announced Monday evening that he was asking U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to suggest $200 billion worth of Chinese goods on which the U.S. could impose a 10 percent tariff.

The US "practice of extreme pressure and blackmail departed from the consensus reached by both sides during multiple negotiations and has also greatly disappointed global society", China's commerce ministry said in a statement on its website.

"The trade relationship between the United States and China must be much more equitable", the president said in explaining his decision.

The move comes after intense negotiations between top US and Chinese trade officials in both Beijing and Washington, DC.

"If the U.S. becomes irrational and issues this list, China will have no choice but to adopt strong countermeasures of the same amount and quality", the ministry statement said.

Trump said he has "an excellent relationship" with Chinese President Xi Jinping and they "will continue working together on many issues".

China slapped a 25 percent tariff on 545 American imports including agricultural products, seafood, cars and whiskey.

"Neither side will be brought to its knees - which is one reason to think the trade dispute could drag on", research firm Capital Economics said in a note to clients on Friday.

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The US leader warned he would go even further, with punitive measures on an extra $200 billion of Chinese goods - for a possible total of $450 billion of goods, or most Chinese imports - "if China increases its tariffs yet again". "However, confronted by such short-sighted act that hurts both U.S. itself and others, China has no choice but to fight back forcefully".

Mr. Trump had announced a 25 percent tariff on up to $50 billion in Chinese imports. "Rather than altering those practices, it is now threatening USA companies, workers and farmers who have done nothing wrong".

Trump's latest salvo in a brewing trade war would mean a sizable amount of Chinese goods shipped to the US would be exposed to tariff threats and raises new questions about the impact on American consumers.

Last week, Trump met with USA trade officials and signed off on the $50 billion in additional tariffs on China as he recalled in Monday evening's statement.

The fact that America imports more from China will make it harder for Beijing to match Trump's attacks, according to Derek Scissors, a resident scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute in Washington who focuses on China.

China's Commerce Ministry fired back in a statement, "The United States has kept changing its mind and now launched a trade war".

"While the White House is chasing some imaginary trade deficit, it will have very real consequences for the 1.3 million men and women of our industry".

As late as May 20, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was saying the trade war with China was "on hold" and that negotiations with Beijing were ongoing.

The dollar fell 0.75 percent to 109.715 yen following Trump's tariff comments.

That being said, "China is going to retaliate", he added.

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