Beijing, Aug 3: The trade war between the United States and China further escalated on Friday as the latter imposed fresh tariffs on American imports worth nearly $60 billion.
The latest set of duties imposed by Beijing comes a couple of days after US President Donald Trump threatened to extend the scale of Chinese imports on which tariff is imposed from $50 billion at present, to $250 billion. And if China fails to mend its ways, "it may increase to $500 billion", he warned.
While announcing the new set of tariffs today, China's Commerce Ministry said the country will not be cowed down by such "unilateral threats" issued to them. "Attempts of blackmail will only lead to intensification of conflicts and damage to the interests of all parties," the Ministry said in its statement.
The tariff imposed by China today range from 5 per cent to 25 per cent, depending on the range of products. The duties will be levied with "immediate effect" in order "safeguard the national interests", officials said.
The US-China trade war was kicked off nearly four months ago when President Trump, citing the alleged unethical trade practices adopted by Beijing, slapped tariffs on Chinese goods worth $50 billion.
The tariffs have adversely impacted the Chinese economy, with the nation's currency falling to a thirteen-month low. China's offshore yuan, meanwhile, has been trading at as low as 6.9050 in Asia.
Trump, during his recent address in Kentucky, said his predecessors created an environment which allowed economies like China to accelerate at the cost of US. "But under my tenure, I promise you that the American interests will be at the forefront," he said.