China defies Trump with new round of tariffs on U.S. goods

China defies Trump with new round of tariffs on U.S. goods

WASHINGTON/BEIJING (Reuters) – China said on Monday it would impose higher tariffs on a range of U.S. goods including frozen vegetables and liquefied natural gas, striking back in its trade war with Washington after U.S. President Donald Trump warned it not to.

The move, widely expected after the United States last week raised tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports, heightened fears the world’s two largest economies were spiraling into a no-holds-barred dispute that could derail the global economy.

China’s finance ministry said it plans to set import tariffs ranging from 5% to 25% on 5,140 U.S. products on a revised $60 billion target list. It said the tariffs will take effect on June 1.

“China’s adjustment on additional tariffs is a response to U.S. unilateralism and protectionism,” the ministry said. “China hopes the U.S. will get back to the right track of bilateral trade and economic consultations and meet with China halfway.”

The White House and U.S. Trade Representative’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Global equities tumbled, with MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the world on pace for its biggest one-day drop of 2019. Major Wall Street stock indexes were down about 2.5%. China’s yuan currency fell to its lowest level since December.