China vowed to retaliate against the United States for President Trump on Friday sharply hiking tariffs on exports from the world’s second-biggest economy, as trade negotiations between the two nations resumed.
One minute after midnight the U.S. increased tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese exports to 25 percent from 10 percent.
Beijing promptly vowed to retaliate with “necessary countermeasures” in a major escalation of the year-old trade conflict that has roiled global stock markets and increased costs for consumers.
“China deeply regrets that it will have to take necessary countermeasures,” China’s Commerce Ministry said in a statement.
The newly increased tariffs took effect on goods that left China on Friday, meaning that because of the roughly three weeks it takes ocean-going freighters to cross the Pacific Ocean American consumers will not feel the effect until the end of this month or early next month.
The drama unfolded against the backdrop of China’s top trade negotiator, Vice Premier Liu He, set to resume talks with his American counterparts at 9 a.m. ET in Washington.
White House officials have stressed that both sides are eager to wrap up talks; last week, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told FOX Business that although they still had “more work to do,” enforcement mechanisms were “close to done.”
“If we get to a completed agreement it will have real enforcement provisions,” he said at the time.
The latest increase extends 25 percent duties to about $250 billion of Chinese imports. On Sunday Trump said he might also expand penalties to all Chinese goods shipped to the United States.
Previous tariffs against Chinese goods have prompted Beijing to retaliate by hiking duties on $110 billion of U.S. imports.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.