U.S. seafood not included in Chinese retaliatory trade tariffs

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The tariffs - announced in direct response to USA tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, MoC said - are effective Monday and will impact $2 billion worth of USA exports to China, said the ministry.

Beijing is imposing a 25% duty increase on frozen U.S. pork and aluminium scrap and 15% on sparkling wine, steel pipe used by oil and gas companies and fruits and nuts including apples, walnuts and grapes.

The Chinese government plans to immediately impose tariffs on 128 USA products, including pork and certain fruits, a direct response to President Donald Trump's recent moves to pursue numerous trade restrictions against Beijing.

"We hope that the United States can withdraw measures that violate WTO rules as soon as possible to put trade in the relevant products between China and the U.S. back on a normal track", the ministry statement said.

Beijing is imposing a 25 percent tariff on US pork and aluminum scrap and 15 percent on sparkling wine, steel pipe used by oil and gas companies, and an array of fruits and nuts including apples, walnuts and grapes. It's also imposing a new 15 percent tariff on 120 other imported United States commodities, from almonds to apples and berries.

One major example is China's new 25 percent tariff on American pork.

In late March, Trump took additional measures toward slapping tariffs on $60 billion of Chinese imports and to limit Beijing's ability for investing in the U.S. technology sector. As Time notes, China has hinted at a possible tariff on soybeans - which is one of the leading US agricultural exports.

In a statement published on Monday morning, the commerce ministry said the United States had "seriously violated" the principles of nondiscrimination enshrined in World Trade Organization rules, and had also damaged China's interests.

A bigger clash now appears to loom over Trump's approval of possible higher duties on almost $50 billion of Chinese goods in a separate argument over technology policy.

Forecasters have been saying that the immediate impact will be limited, but investors are anxious that a global recover would be hit with a setback if this prompts other countries to increase their import duties.

"China's suspension of its tariff concessions is a legitimate action adopted under World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules to safeguard China's interests", it added.

"Beijing will take measures against the 128 United States goods in two stages if it can not reach an agreement with Washington", the Ministry said.

According to the Department of Agriculture, the USA sent more than $21 billion worth of agricultural exports to China in 2016.

Furthermore, China has a large seafood trade surplus with the U.S.; whereas China imported $1.3bn worth of USA seafood, the United States imported $2.7bn worth of seafood from China in 2017, based on data from NMFS.

Beijing reported a trade surplus of $275.8 billion with the United States previous year, or two-thirds of its global total. It is likely that Chinese consumers will also bear the weight of the tariff as they see prices rising for fruits, vegetables, and pork. "That is now a place where policy is beginning to change". That list will then be open to a 30-day comment period for businesses.

The volleys of threats are "a process of game-playing to test each other's bottom lines", said Tu Xinquan, a trade expert at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing.

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