China says US ‘blackmail’ won’t work, warns of retaliation on tariffs

China says US ‘blackmail’ won’t work, warns of retaliation on tariffs

China on Wednesday said "blackmail" from the U.S. won’t work and warned it would retaliate if President TrumpDonald John TrumpHannity urges Trump not to fire 'anybody' after Rosenstein report Ben Carson appears to tie allegation against Kavanaugh to socialist plot Five takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate MORE moves forward with his plan to impose 25 percent tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods, Reuters reported.

"U.S. pressure and blackmail won’t have an effect," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said during a news briefing, according to Reuters. "If the United States takes further escalatory steps, China will inevitably take countermeasures and we will resolutely protect our legitimate rights."

"Unilateral threats and pressure will only produce the opposite of the desired result,” Geng continued.

Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday that the Trump administration is weighing the imposition of 25 percent tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese products. The U.S. had earlier threatened to impose 10 percent tariffs on those goods.

Earlier this year, the U.S. imposed 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese goods. China responded by placing the same level of tariffs on $34 billion in U.S. exports to China. 

Beijing in July filed a World Trade Organization (WTO) challenge against the initial U.S. tariffs, arguing that they violated international rules.  

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Erin Ennis, senior vice president of the U.S.-China Business Council, said a 25 percent tariff on $200 billion in Chinese goods would end up hurting U.S. businesses and consumers who depend on Chinese goods.

“Given the scope of the products covered, about half of all imports from China are facing tariffs, including consumer goods,” Ennis told Reuters. “The cost increases will be passed on to customers, so it will affect most Americans’ pocketbooks.”

Trump has said his trade policies are an effort to protect American workers from unfair Chinese technology and trade practices.

Critics have said the escalating trade war could harm U.S. workers and businesses. Trump last week proposed $12 billion in aid to farmers who have been hit hard by retaliatory tariffs from the countries Trump has targeted.