China says it rejects ‘threats and blackmail’ ahead of tariffs

China says it rejects ‘threats and blackmail’ ahead of tariffs
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China said Thursday it won’t tolerate “threats and blackmail” as it prepares for the U.S. to implement tariffs on billions of dollars worth of Chinese goods.

USA Today reported that a spokesman for the Chinese government said Beijing will defend itself if the Trump administration follows through on Friday with its pledge to implement tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese products.

“China will never fire the first shot. However, if the United States adopts taxation measures, China will be forced to fight back to defend the core interests of the nation and the interests of the people,” Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said, according to USA Today.

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China has vowed to institute retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods in response to Trump's trade policy, raising concerns of a looming global trade war.

The president last month ordered trade officials to prepare an additional $200 billion in tariffs on Chinese products, further ratcheting up tensions.

Numerous U.S. lawmakers from both parties, as well as international leaders, have voiced concerns about Trump's trade policies, saying tariffs on foreign goods will ultimately hurt U.S. workers. The president's methods have already led to retaliatory duties from Canada, the European Union and other allies.

Trump has remained defiant, declaring that trade wars are "good and easy to win," and arguing that the tariffs are necessary for national security and to balance trade deficits.