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China imposes new retaliatory tariffs on 659 US products

China has announced its decision to impose further 25 percent tariffs on 659 American products worth $50 billion, in retaliation for new US tariffs on Chinese imports.

The Chinese commerce ministry said tariffs on $34 billion of imports from the US, including agricultural products such as soybeans, US biggest export to China by value, will be implemented as of July 6 and the date of tariffs on the remaining $16 billion of American goods, including crude oil, natural gas, coal and some refined oil products, will be announced later.

China had primarily announced 25-percent retaliatory tariffs on 106 US products in April. Although the new revised list is longer, its total value is still unchanged at $50 billion, as it does not include aircraft which had been mentioned in China’s previous list in April.

“The US has ignored China’s resolute opposition and solemn representation, and has insisted on adopting behaviors that violate WTO rules,” China’s commerce ministry said.

“This is a violation of the legitimate rights and interests that China is entitled to according to WTO (World Trade Organization) rules, and is a threat to China’s economic interest and security,” it added.

Earlier on Friday, US President Donald Trump announced 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese imports, in a move that could set the stage for a major escalation in an ongoing trade war between the world’s two largest economies.

Trump said the new tariffs will be levied on a list of strategically important Chinese imports, pledging to adopt further measures if Beijing retaliates.

Earlier this year, the US released an initial list of 1,300 product categories, ranging from pharmaceuticals to flat screen televisions. Some new products will now replace some of the items from the initial list.