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China retaliates in tariff feud, focuses on U.S. tires, rubber

China retaliates in tariff feud, focuses on U.S. tires, rubber

BEIJING—China is retaliating against the Trump administration’s decision to impose $200 billion worth of tariffs on Chinese goods by enacting $60 billion in tariffs on U.S. goods, including tires, synthetic rubber and butadiene.

China’s new round of tariffs were made public shortly after President Trump made his Sept. 17 decision. The action by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce places tariffs on 5,207 U.S. product categories beginning Sept. 24, the same day the U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods begin.

Various categories of U.S. tires and synthetic rubbers, as well as butadiene, will be among the roughly 3,600 products facing tariffs of 10 percent. Another 1,600 product categories will receive 5 percent tariffs.

Figures from the U.S. Department of Commerce show the U.S. exported 622,500 tires to China in 2017, valued at about $55 million.

Of 298,000 metric tons of styrene-butadiene rubber imported by China in 2017, U.S. SBR accounted for about 6.6 percent of the total, according to Commerce.

In a formal statement, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said the U.S. undertook the new round of tariffs “in spite of the overwhelming opinions of the vast majority” of the affected international and domestic parties.

“The U.S. insists on increasing tariffs, which brings new uncertainty to the consultations between the two sides,” the statement said. “It is hoped that the U.S. will recognize the possible negative consequences of such actions and take convincing means to correct them in a timely manner.”

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