China has hit back with new tariffs of up to 25% on 128 US imports, including pork and wine, after President Donald Trump raised duties on foreign steel and aluminum imports in March.
The new tariffs affecting some $3 billion of imports kick in on April 2.
The Chinese government said the move was to “safeguard China’s interests and balance” losses caused by new US tariffs.
Beijing had previously said it did not want a trade war but would not sit by if its economy was hurt.
However, President Trump has insisted that “trade wars are good”, and that it should be “easy” for the US to win one.
The president has already announced plans for further targeted tariffs for tens of billions of dollars of Chinese imports.
President Trump said that is in response to unfair trading practices in China that affect US companies but it raises the possibility of yet more action being taken in what has become a tit-for-tat trade battle.
US scrap aluminum and frozen pork will be subject to a 25% additional tariff – on top of existing duties.
Several other American foods including nuts, fresh and dried fruit, ginseng and wine will be hit by a 15% increase.
Rolled steel bars will likewise see a 15% rise in duties.
According to the Chinese government, the new tariffs were a retaliatory measure in light of President Trump’s decision to raise duties on steel and aluminum imports.
However, further tax hikes may lie ahead.
On March 22, the US said it was planning to impose duties on up to $60 billion of Chinese imports and limit its investment in the US, in retaliation for years of alleged intellectual property theft.
The White House said it was acting to counter unfair competition from China’s state-led economy.