- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Beijing announced Wednesday a $50 billion list of U.S. products targeted with tariffs, responding in kind to President Trump’s new import tax on Chinese high-tech in an escalating trade dispute.

China’s list of 106 U.S. products to be hit with a 25 percent tariff range from soybeans to cars to whiskey.

The value of the U.S. products was virtually identical to the $50 billion in Chinese high-tech products that the Trump administration identified on a list released late Tuesday.

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This second round of tit-for-tat tariffs continued to stoke fears of a trade war between the world’s two largest economies.

“It must be said, we have been forced into taking this action,” said Wang Shouwen, China’s deputy commerce minister. “Our action is restrained.”

In Washington, Mr. Trump insisted he wasn’t starting the trade war.

“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. Now we have a Trade Deficit of $500 Billion a year, with Intellectual Property Theft of another $300 Billion. We cannot let this continue!” he tweeted Wednesday.

The series of tariffs rolled out by the Trump administration follow through on the president’s campaign promise to get tough on China’s trade abuses. He said the measures crack down on longtime unfair practices including the theft of American intellectual property.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer unveiled Tuesday a $50 billion list of proposed tariffs on 1,300 high-tech products from China that included aerospace, pharmaceuticals and electronics.

Beijing had threatened to retaliate when Mr. Trump announced pending tariffs last month. China previously responded with a list of more than 120 U.S. items worth about $3 billion to hit with an import tax after the Trump administration imposed a tariff on steel and aluminum.

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