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China says it will fight US tariffs ‘at any cost’

China says it will fight US tariffs ‘at any cost’
© Greg Nash

A trade dispute between the U.S. and China intensified on Friday, as Beijing pledged to fight the U.S. over additional tariffs on Chinese goods proposed by President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Dems add five candidates to ‘Red to Blue’ program White House notifies Russia that no new sanctions are coming: report Senators push HHS to negotiate lower prices on opioid overdose reversal drug MORE.

"China will dedicate itself to the end and at any cost and will definitely fight back firmly," the Chinese Commerce Ministry said, according to The Associated Press

The warning from Beijing came a day after Trump directed the U.S. Trade Representative to look at additional tariffs on $100 billion worth of Chinese products. 

According to the AP, a Commerce Ministry spokesman said negotiations on tariffs were impossible and that China is "fully prepared and will without hesitation counterattack with great strength."

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The Trump administration unveiled earlier this week a list of $50 billion worth of Chinese products that could be hit with stiff tariffs. Beijing responded in kind almost immediately, announcing plans to impose duties on $50 billion in American products. 

The tit-for-tat sparked concern among businesses and investors, and caused global financial markets to tumble, as fears of a trade war between the world's two largest economies deepened. 

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a statement on Thursday that Trump's proposal was an "appropriate response to China’s recent threat of new tariffs." He said that improper trade practices by China and the theft of intellectual property had harmed the U.S. economy.

"In the light of such evidence, the appropriate response from China should be to change its behavior, as China’s government has pledged to do many times," he said.

Trump's proposed tariffs would not go into effect immediately, and must go through a public comment period before they can be implemented.