China will take necessary countermeasures if the United State moves to increase tariffs on Chinese products, the country’s Ministry of Commerce said in a brief statement late Wednesday.
The U.S. is set to raise tariffs from 10% to 25% on Chinese products worth $200 billion annually starting Friday, according to a Wednesday filing by the U.S. Trade Representative’s office for the Federal Register. In December, U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed during a meeting in Argentina to postpone the tariff increases, which were originally planned to take effect in March, for the two countries to negotiate a deal.
Officials from both sides have held ten rounds of meetings since then, and the next one is scheduled for later this week when Chinese Vice Premier Liu He arrives in Washington. But tensions mounted after Trump criticized the bilateral negotiations for moving “too slowly” and threatened to increase additional tariffs in tweets during the weekend.
“The escalation of trade friction is not in the interest of both countries and the world. China is deeply regretful,” the commerce ministry said in the statement.