Alwaght- China has accused the United States of “opening fire” on the global economy and damaging the international supply chains by imposing tariffs on products from China and other countries.
“The US measures are essentially attacking global supply and value chains. To put it simply, the US is opening fire on the entire world, including itself,” said Gao Feng, a spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, at a press conference in Beijing on Thursday, referring to the American practice of protectionism.
The statement came as controversial US duties on Chinese goods worth tens of billions are due to come into force at midnight Thursday.
Feng said Beijing would continue to assess the impact of the current trade dispute with Washington and would help firms cope with possible shocks.
“China will not bow down in the face of threats and blackmail and will not falter from its determination to defend free trade and the multilateral system.”
Asked whether US companies would be targeted with “qualitative measures” in China in a trade war, Gao said the government would protect the legal rights of all foreign companies in the country.
“We will continue to assess the potential impact of the U.S.-initiated trade war on companies and will help companies mitigate possible shocks.”
Last month, US President Donald Trump announced 25-percent tariffs on $50 billion in annual Chinese imports. He said he had also directed the US Trade Representative to identify $200 billion worth of imports for additional tariffs.
Trump also stressed at the time that his administration would be identifying another $200 billion in tariffs if China retaliated the new measures.
The total of $450 billion in goods represents the lion’s share of all of China’s exports to the US.
The World Trade Organization warned on Wednesday that trade barriers being erected by major economies could jeopardize the global economic recovery, with their effects already starting to show.