China presses Europe for anti-Trump alliance on trade

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China presses Europe for anti-Trump alliance on trade

Washington has said it would implement tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese imports on July 6, and Beijing has vowed to retaliate in kind on the same day. Given the 12-hour time difference, that would have put its implementation ahead of Washington's.

Earlier, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said China was ready to act, though he did not confirm the start date for Chinese tariffs.

China is poised to fire the opening salvo in an escalating trade dispute with the United States by bringing in 25% tariffs on $34bn of U.S. goods a day earlier than Washington.

The Commerce Department launched its investigation, on grounds of national security, on 23 May under orders from Trump, who has frequently complained about the EU's 10% vehicle tariff being four times that of the United States, apart from the 25% U.S. levy on pickup trucks.

Chinese media has promoted the message that the European Union is on China's side, officials said, putting the bloc in a delicate position.

Both sides have threatened to impose similarly sized tariffs on 6 July but because of the 12-hour time difference, the Chinese tariffs on U.S. imports ranging from soybean to stainless steel pipes will take effect earlier.

Trump also said on Sunday that the EU was "as bad" as China when it came to the way European countries traded with the US.

"Public security in the United States is not good".

The draft bill, known as the "United States Fair and Reciprocal Tariff Act", would essentially allow President Donald Trump to unilaterally raise tariffs without Congress' approval.

The global commercial order is being shaken by the Trump administration's use of an obscure USA trade-law provision on national security to justify steel and aluminium tariffs against a host of countries including defence allies.

The list of Chinese products targeted with US tariffs include vaping devices, rare earth metals and LED light bulbs. "Now it is attempting to resort to an all-out trade and economic war to hold back China's normal development".

Chinese newspapers described the move as a counterstrike in an escalating trade war.

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