China’s Ministry of Commerce vowed Friday to push back against President Donald Trump’s wave of tariffs “at any cost,” insisting that it is not interested in a trade war with the U.S. but is unafraid of one should Trump’s push for fresh import taxes continue.
“China will dedicate itself to the end and at any cost and will definitely fight back firmly" should U.S. “protectionism” continue, the Commerce Ministry said in a statement, according to an Associated Press report.
The Chinese government’s vow to fight back against Trump’s tariffs came one day after the president asked his U.S. Trade Representative to consider whether an additional $100 billion in taxes on Chinese imports would be appropriate, a threat of retaliation over $50 billion worth of tariffs imposed by China on the U.S. earlier this week. Those Chinese tariffs, which target key U.S. industries, were retaliation over a $50 billion package of import taxes imposed against China by the Trump administration.
The president has said the tariffs his administration has imposed in recent weeks are not intended to launch a trade war but instead to level the playing field of international trade, which Trump says has unfairly benefitted U.S. trade partners, especially China, for years.
But Trump has also said he is unafraid of trade wars, which he said last month “are good, and easy to win.” He has suggested that the trade deficit that the U.S. runs with China means any trade war would only hurt Beijing, writing on Twitter that “when you’re already $500 Billion DOWN, you can’t lose!”
“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.,” Trump wrote in a different online post earlier this week. “Now we have a Trade Deficit of $500 Billion a year, with Intellectual Property Theft of another $300 Billion. We cannot let this continue!”