China hits back at Trump with whiskey import tariff

China has retaliated to President Trump’s imposition of tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports into America, announcing a counter tariff on a raft of products imported by the US into China, including a 25% hike on American whiskey.

Conflict between USA and China, male fists – governments conflict concept

Chinese officials announced retaliatory tariffs aimed at the US on Saturday that targeted American exports such as electric cars, soybeans, orange juice, lobsters, salmon, cigars and whiskey.

It follows an announcement by Trump which stated that the US would be imposing tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese products, focusing on products from industrial sectors such as aerospace, information and communications technology, robotics, industrial machinery, new materials and automobiles.

Notably, it did not include some of the most popular goods purchased by US consumers from China, such as mobile phones or television sets.

The first round of tariffs on 818 products worth $34 billion will go into effect on July 6, according to the US trade representative’s office (USTR), with a second batch of 284 products valued at $16 billion under further review.

Quick to hit back, in a statement released over the weekend China’s commerce ministry called the Trump administration a “provocateur” and warned that it would “fight back strongly,” as reported by The Associated Press.

Announcing its own import hikes on American products, items targeted by the Chinese were chosen to minimise their impact on its own economy – so items that could be imported from elsewhere – but were particularly oriented toward US exports from rural areas that voted more strongly for President Trump.

China’s tariffs will go into effect from 6 July, and includes a 25% import hike on American whiskey.

It follows similar moves by the European Commission and Mexico. In March, president Trump imposed a 25% import duty on steel and a 10% duty on aluminium from Europe, Mexico and Canada into the US, claiming that such imports threatened its own national security and put US jobs at risk.

The EU Commission has since confirmed that it will be imposing a tariff on imports of Bourbon and American whiskey from July, in retaliation. Mexico also swiftly imposed tariffs on US steel imports, as well as Bourbon, pork, apples and potatoes, ranging from between 15% and 25%.

From July American whiskey and Bourbon will be subject to an additional 25% tariff in Europe.

From July, imports of Bourbon and American whisky will be subject to an additional 25% tariff, which threatens to push up the price of the spirit within EU borders for consumers.

The US-based Distilled Spirits Council has said it was “extremely concerned” about the increasing likelihood that the European Union (EU) and other countries will begin retaliating against US spirits products in response to the US decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium, and the impact that retaliatory tariffs will have on US distilled spirits producers, as well as their agricultural and supply chain partners.

In a letter presented to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, the organisation pointed out that exports worth approximately $759 million, representing 46% global US spirits exports and 65% global US whiskey exports, were currently the target of retaliatory tariffs.

Such tariffs “would severely harm producers, US farmers …, distribution and logistics providers, as well as other input providers such as glass and other packaging suppliers,” the letter stated.

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