March 22 (UPI) — The Chinese government warned it will take all necessary measures to protect its interests if the U.S. implements anticipated tariffs on imports from the nation.
A statement by government officials warns that China will retaliate if President Donald Trump goes through with plans to slap new tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of Chinese goods. On Thursday, Trump is expected to announce $60 billion worth of new tariffs on certain Chinese exports to the U.S.
“China will certainly take all necessary measures to resolutely defend its legitimate rights and interests,” the Ministry of Commerce said in a statement.
Trump has said new tariffs would help lower the $375 billion U.S. trade deficit with China while punishing what he says are China’s unfair trade practices. It would affect imports that made up roughly 10 percent of Chinese goods sent to the U.S. last year.
If the tariffs are put in place, it would be the first time the Trump administration directly targeted China with trade sanctions. The recent steel, aluminum and solar panel tariffs applied to other countries, as well as China.
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying said China-U.S. economic relations are mutually beneficial and have opened vast markets and created a significant number of jobs in both countries during the past 40 years.
During a news conference Wednesday, the spokeswoman said trade with China has also lowered financial burdens for U.S. families. In 2015, China-U.S. trade helped each family save $850 on average, she said.
“[A] trade war will only produce losers. The legendary impenetrable ‘super armor’ that shields one from any harm simply does not exist,” Chunying said. “We want no trade war with anyone, but if our hands are forced, we will not quail nor recoil from it. Therefore, if the day did come when the U.S. took measures to hurt our interests, we will definitely take firm and necessary countermeasures to safeguard our legitimate interests.”