Jonathan Ernst | Reuters
President Donald Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping leave after an opera performance at the Forbidden City in Beijing, China, November 8, 2017.
China’s commerce ministry on Friday proposed a list of 128 U.S. products as potential retaliation targets, according to a statement on its website.
The U.S. goods, which had an import value of $3 billion in 2017, include pork, wine, fruit and steel. A 25 percent tariff could be imposed on pork imports while dried and fresh fruit imports could see a 15 percent duty, the statement said.
The list did not go into greater detail. U.S. agricultural products, particularly soybeans, have been flagged as the biggest area of potential retaliation by Chinese President Xi Jinping’s administration.
Beijing will take measures against the 128 U.S. goods in two stages if it cannot reach an agreement with Washington, the ministry said, adding that it could take legal action under World Trade Organization rules.
Recent U.S. trade actions severely damage the multilateral trading system and disturb the international trading order, China’s commerce ministry warned, urging Washington to resolve its issues with Beijing to avoid harming the bilateral relationship.
Trump signed an executive memorandum on Thursday that will impose tariffs on up to $60 billion in Chinese imports. “This is the first of many” trade actions, the president said. The new measures will primarily target certain products in the technology sector where Beijing holds an advantage over Washington.
That followed Trump’s executive order earlier this month that imposed broad duties on foreign aluminum and steel imports — an action that many believe could trigger a global trade war.
Reuters contributed to this report.