Last night, the Trump administration announced 25% tariffs covering around 1,300 industrial technology, transport and medical products.
In a statement, the Chinese commerce ministry said that tariff proposals are “completely unfounded, a typical unilateralist and protectionist practice that China strongly condemns and firmly opposes”.
The ministry echoed a Chinese embassy statement in Washington, which said that Beijing will resort to the World Trade Organization’s dispute settlement mechanism.
It said it will take “corresponding measures of equal strength and scale against US products” in accordance with Chinese law.
“These measures will be announced in the coming days,” the ministry added. “We are confident and capable of responding to any US trade protectionist measures.”
The US list, which includes electronics, aircraft parts, satellites, medicine, machinery and other goods, has yet to be finalised.
It is intended as a response to China’s alleged theft of American companies’ intellectual property and technology. The review process will last through at least May before it can take effect.
The state-run daily Global Times said earlier this week that China has “nearly completed its list of retaliatory tariffs on US products and will release it soon”.
“The list will involve major Chinese imports from the US,” the newspaper wrote, without saying which items were included, though the Global Times has suggested in the past that Beijing could hit major industries such as soybeans and aerospace.
China already retaliated on Monday to separate US tariffs on steel and aluminium by placing new duties on $3 billion worth of American goods, including pork, wine and fruits.
The tit-for-tat actions have raised fears of a trade war, rattling global stock markets.