US-China trade: Beijing responds with tariffs of its own

Trade tensions between China and the US have been ramped up after Beijing responded to US plans for putting new taxes on hundreds of Chinese imports.

China said it would place 25% trade tariffs on 106 US goods, including soybeans, cars and orange juice.

The tit-for-tat action comes hours after Washington detailed about 1,300 Chinese products it intended to hit with tariffs – also set at 25%.

US-targeted items include Chinese-made televisions and motorcycles.

The White House said its proposals were a response to unfair Chinese intellectual property practices.

Stock markets in Europe fell, with investors taken aback by the speed of China’s response. In New York, the Dow Jones is expected to open about 550 points lower.

Earlier, Beijing said it “strongly condemns and firmly opposes” the proposed US tariffs, calling them “unilateralistic and protectionist”, and vowing to retaliate.

The products targeted by the Chinese tariffs were worth $50bn (£35.5bn) in 2017, according to the Chinese commerce ministry.

US chemicals, some types of aircraft and corn products are among the goods facing the taxes, the finance ministry said.

Extra tariffs will also be placed on whiskey, cigars and tobacco, some types of beef, lubricants, and propane and other plastic products.

US orange juice, certain sorghum products, cotton and some types of wheat, as well as trucks, some SUVs and certain electric vehicles, will also be subject to the new duties, the ministry added.

Economists had previously warned the Trump administration’s move to penalise China with the tariffs could prompt Beijing to retaliate and lead to higher prices for US consumers.