China threatens new tariffs on $60bn worth of U.S. goods

China has threatened to slap import tax on about $60 billion of us imports, with tax rates ranging from 5 to 25 percent, the country's commerce ministry said on Friday, calling the proposed tariff "rational and restrained".

The tariffs would be imposed at four different tax rates, China's Ministry of Commerce said in a statement.

US exports had an unusual surge this spring as other countries rushed to buy USA goods before tariffs went into effect.

President Donald Trump this week ordered officials to consider imposing a 25% tax on $200 billion worth of imported Chinese goods, up from an initial 10% rate. Beijing responded by imposing similar charges on the same amount of US products.

The president's widening trade wars have concerned some American farmers who are anxious about the effect the feuds will have on their bottom line. But they have rejected changing technology development plans they see as a path to prosperity and global influence.

An all-out trade war could overshadow Trump's otherwise solid economic record of low unemployment and stimulus-fuelled growth.

China on Friday threatened to impose tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods. Last year, China imported about $130 billion of USA goods. That's happening largely because the US economy is doing well and people feel bullish enough to shop more for goods.

The highest penalties in today's list would be imposed on honey, vegetables, mushrooms and chemicals, targeting farming and mining areas that supported President Donald Trump in the 2016 election.

Beijing's earlier round of tariffs appeared created to minimize the impact on the Chinese economy by targeting soybeans, whiskey and other goods available from Brazil, Australia and other suppliers. USA tariffs on another $16 billion worth of Chinese imports are set to be enacted at a later date.

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Chinese authorities - bracing for economic fallout - have taken a range of measures in recent weeks to bolster the economy.

By comparison, companies in America sold £100bn ($130bn) of goods to China during the same period.

Beijing says the United States is deliberately creating the trade conflict, using bullying tactics, and ignoring worldwide negotiating norms so that it can stop the rise of China as a competitor on the world stage.

The move is in response to threats by the Trump administration to raise the tariff rate on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. China's trading partners complain those might violate its market-opening pledges by subsidizing or shielding Chinese companies from competition.

The foreign ministry spokesman appealed to Washington to negotiate but could not confirm reports the two sides were setting up talks.

The step is reportedly being considered by the White House in order to narrow the trade deficit between the U.S. and China.

[A] big driving factor behind the higher trade deficit this year is that USA consumers are buying more stuff.

The Republican president has been keen to show he is tough on trade ahead of tricky congressional elections in November, joking at a rally in Pennsylvania on Thursday: "China is not happy with me".

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