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China to respond to new US duties with 'same scale, intensity'

Apr 03 2018 16:10
Bloomberg News

Beijing - China will respond to any tariffs imposed by the US against alleged violations of intellectual property rights with the same proportion, scale and intensity, said its US ambassador Cui Tiankai.

Cui’s comments, in an interview with state-run CGTN English news channel on Tuesday, are the first to indicate that China will retaliate on a scale that matches US plans for additional duties on Chinese imports.

The US is readying duties on $50bn of Chinese products as punishment for what Washington sees as widespread violations of intellectual property rights. US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has until Friday to propose a list of Chinese products to be targeted to compensate for what he said was harm caused to the US economy by China’s policies.

American companies doing business in China have long argued that China uses a range of tactics to force them to transfer intellectual property, and that Chinese entities engage in widespread theft of US trade secrets.

Following an investigation into China’s intellectual property practices, the USTR said the US will “confront China over its state-led, market-distorting” practices in these areas.

“If they do we will certainly take counter measures of the same proportion and of the same scale, same intensity,” Cui said in the television interview. He said China has made good progress strengthening protection of intellectual property rights and is ready to look at cases where violations have occurred.

After announcing that tariffs on 128 kinds of imported goods from the US would take effect on Monday, China urged trade talks with the US to prevent greater damage to relations. The reciprocal tariffs, a response to US tariffs on metals announced in March on national security grounds, are imposed on goods valued at about $3bn, a tiny fraction of its US imports.

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us  |  china  |  trade war  |  economy


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