China said Friday that it will impose new tariffs on some $75 billion in goods imported from the U.S., the latest in a series of retaliatory responses in the ongoing trade wars between the nations. This news appeared to rattle financial markets, sending the Dow Jones down 623 points on the day, with most of the retail sector being particularly hard hit.
China’s Customs Tariff Commission said it is imposing the tariffs in response to the U.S. government’s additional 10 percent tariffs on approximately $300 billion in goods imported from China. The U.S. government’s tariffs, which will impact footwear and apparel, are set to be implemented in September and in December.
“The U.S. measures have led to the continuous escalation of Sino-U.S. economic and trade frictions, which have greatly harmed the interests of China, the United States and other countries, and have also seriously threatened the multilateral trading system and the principle of free trade,” according to a translation of China’s statement Friday.
China said it will be imposing tariffs of 10 and 5 percent on a number of items from the U.S., set to go into effect on Sept. 1 and Dec. 15, corresponding with the dates of the U.S. tariffs.
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President Trump’s apparent initial response to the news was a tweet this morning that read, “Now the Fed can show their stuff!” Spokespeople for the U.S. Trade Representative’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday morning.
On Friday evening, Trump lashed out at China’s move by announcing ramped-up tariffs on Chinese goods. The 10 percent tariffs on $300 billion in Chinese goods to go into effect on Sept. 1 will now be increased to 15 percent, he said. And beginning Oct. 1, 2019, the $250 billion in Chinese goods being taxed at 25 percent will be be taxed at 30 percent, he said.
“China should not have put new Tariffs on 75 BILLION DOLLARS of United States product (politically motivated!),” he tweeted.
The trade group the American Apparel & Footwear Association rebuked the announcement in its own statement Friday, saying the Trump administration’s “tit-for-tat tariff hikes” do not account for the monumental logistics of relocating supply chains.
“The president has said he wants American businesses to stop working in China, yet he doesn’t seem to understand that moving a supply chain is incredibly complicated and expensive,” the group’s president Rick Helfenbein said in the statement. “It takes years to build relationships that meet compliance standards and deliver quality products, yet we have been given weeks and in this case, days.”
Retailers in the U.S. have been nervous about the impending tariffs to be imposed by the U.S. on goods from China. Last week, the AAFA said although the U.S. broke up its implementation of those tariffs between September and December, most of the apparel, footwear and textile goods imported from China will be affected by them sooner rather than later.
According to the group’s analysis, more than three-quarters of such goods would be affected by those tariffs on Sept. 1, while the remaining roughly 23 percent of such goods would be affected in December.
“By no means is this a win or a de-escalation,” Helfenbein said in a statement at the time. “The administration is imposing an additional 10 percent tax on U.S. businesses and U.S. consumers.”
Among the retail issues losing value on Friday included Macy’s Inc. (4 percent); Nordstrom Inc. (7 percent); Gap Inc. (4.7 percent) Ralph Lauren Corp. (4.5 percent) and PVH Corp. (5.1 percent).