China warns Washington’s ‘capricious’ trade actions will hurt US workers

China said it will impose additional tariffs on 659 U.S. goods, with duties on 545 of them to kick in on July 6, after Trump said Washington will impose tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese products.

Beijing’s planned tariffs would add to duties it had already slapped on 128 U.S. goods, such as pork, fruits, and nuts, in reaction to Trump’s earlier move to impose taxes on Chinese steel and aluminum.

The U.S. goods affected on July 6 also include pork and fruit, as well as soybeans, autos and a wide array of marine products.

A trade war would hit U.S. farmers, a vast majority of whom supported Trump in the 2016 election.

“Jobs for the Chinese are just as precious as those for the Americans,” Zha Daojiong, professor of international political economy at the School of International Studies at Peking University, told Reuters in an email.

“It will be wise for the two sides to come back to the negotiation table, abide by a temporary agreement and turn down the rhetoric.”

Beijing has yet to announce an activation date for its tariffs on the remaining 114 U.S. products, which include crude oil, coal and a range of refined fuel products.

“We cannot be soft with Trump. He is using his ‘irrationality’ as a tactic and he is trying to confuse us,” said Chen Fengying, an economics expert at state-backed China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations.

“But if we could accomplish some of the things that he wants us to do – such as IP, market reforms, he’d be helping us. Of course, there are risks, those would depend on how we handle those reforms.”

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