The Chinese government will impose tariffs on imports of U.S. soybeans, cars, aircraft and chemicals, Bloomberg reported Wednesday, retaliation for tariffs implemented against China by President Donald Trump.
But Trump, in a Wednesday morning post to Twitter, insisted that “we are not in a trade war with China” because the U.S. is already at such a disadvantage when it comes to trade with Asia’s largest economy.
“We are not in a trade war with China, that war was lost many years ago by the foolish, or incompetent, people who represented the U.S.,” he wrote. “Now we have a Trade Deficit of $500 Billion a year, with Intellectual Property Theft of another $300 Billion. We cannot let this continue!”
In total, the Chinese Commerce Department announced new tariffs on 106 U.S. goods amounting to roughly $50 billion in imports. The Chinese tariffs followed an announcement from the Trump administration of tariffs to be imposed on Chinese electronics and machinery, as well as aerospace products.
The two sets of tariffs deal with some of the biggest international trade between the two nations. China is the largest buyer of U.S. soybeans, Bloomberg reported, while Chinese technology manufacturers play a key role in the supply chains of major U.S. tech companies.
The move against China announced Tuesday by Trump is a penalty, the White House said, for what the administration has labeled as unfair practices by Beijing, namely the obtaining of proprietary information from U.S. companies, either by stealing it or forcing them to surrender it to have access to Chinese markets.
Trump has long complained that China engages in unfair trade practices with the U.S. and that his steps are only to level the playing field. But the president’s recent tariff spree, which has also included across-the-board taxes on steel and aluminum imports, among others, has also fueled fears of a looming trade war. Trump has publicly scoffed at such fears, writing online that “trade wars are good, and easy to win.”