By Ovunc Kutlu
China accused the U.S. government Monday of “trade bullyism” and responded to Washington by beginning to implement $60 billion retaliatory tariffs on American goods.
After Washington’s $200 billion of additional tariffs on Beijing have taken effect at midnight, Chinese state-owned news outlet Xinhua published an article citing a white paper by China’s State Council.
Stressing that U.S.-Chinese trade relations have been “mutually-beneficial,” the white paper said American policies would damage China and the global economy.
“The two countries are at different stages of development and have different economic systems, and therefore some level of trade friction is only natural,” it said, adding “the new administration of the U.S. government has trumpeted ‘America First’ since taking office in 2017.”
“It has brazenly preached unilateralism, protectionism and economic hegemony, making false accusations against many countries and regions, particularly China, intimidating other countries through economic measures such as imposing tariffs, and attempting to impose its own interests on China through extreme pressure,” it added.
With escalating trade tensions between the two countries, major indexes on the New York Stock Exchange opened the new week in negative territory and extended their losses.
The Dow Jones was down 140 points at 10.50 a.m. EST (1450GMT), and the S&P 500 lost 15 points, as both indexes a posted 0.5 percent decline.
Global credit rating agency Moody’s also warned Monday that additional U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports are negative for various sectors in both countries.
“Domestic supply chain linkages will magnify the impact of the additional 10% US tariffs on the Chinese economy and specific industry sectors,” Elena Duggar, Chair of Moody’s Macroeconomic Board, said in a report.
U.S. retailers and wholesale distributors of furniture, home goods, electronics, hardware and appliances that source finished goods from China have the most direct exposure to the new tariffs, she said, noting more than half of imports of U.S. furniture and home goods retailers came from China last year.