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China to slap retaliatory tariffs on $16 bil. of US goods

Chinese President Xi Jinping (AP)

BEIJING (Kyodo) -- China said Wednesday it has decided to impose additional retaliatory tariffs on $16 billion worth of imported products from the United States.

The Commerce Ministry said a 25 percent charge will cover 333 goods including vehicles, as well as oil-related and steel products, effective Aug. 23.

The move came a day after the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative published its finalized list for new tariffs on $16 billion in Chinese goods, also starting Aug. 23.

Commenting on the decision, a ministry spokesperson said it is totally unreasonable for the United States to put domestic laws above international laws time and time again, Xinhua News Agency reported.

To defend its legitimate rights and interests and the multilateral trade system, Beijing was forced to take necessary countermeasures, the spokesperson was quoted as saying.

In July, the USTR slapped extra 25 percent duties on $34 billion in Chinese imports for alleged intellectual property and technology theft. Beijing immediately retaliated with duties on the same value of U.S. goods.

The United States has also released a list of potential tariffs on $200 billion worth of goods from China, with President Donald Trump saying he could go after the entire $500 billion in goods the U.S. imports from the country annually.

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