China Urges U.S. to Make ‘Right Decision’ as $200B Tariffs Near

(Bloomberg) -- China urged the Trump administration to back away from imposing new tariffs on another $200 billion tranche of its goods, as the end of a formal comment period on the measures nears.

The U.S. should “take note of the calling from businesses and consumers in both countries, the fact that both countries are linked closely in the supply chain and the fundamental interest of the two peoples to make the right decision,” Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng said at a regular briefing in Beijing on Thursday. Over 90 percent of businesses consulted on the tariffs oppose them, Gao said.

President Donald Trump has imposed additional tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese imports and identified another $200 billion in goods targeted for duties of as much as 25 percent, ranging from chemicals and seafood to vacuums and bicycles. Those duties could take effect after a comment period ends Sept. 6. Such an escalation of the trade conflict could shave as much as 0.3 percentage point off China’s output growth next year.

Gao repeated Beijing’s line that U.S. “bullying” won’t work, and that the nation is confident of stable and sound trade this year.

On Wednesday, Trump accused China of undermining U.S. efforts to pressure North Korea into giving up its nuclear weapons, indicating his trade war with Beijing is starting to exacerbate geopolitical tensions.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.