China urges US to 'calm down' after latest tariff threat

China urges US to 'calm down' after latest tariff threat
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China's top diplomat on Thursday encouraged the Trump administration to "calm down" amid escalating tariff threats, saying increased rhetoric will not lead to results.

Wang Yi said at a forum in Singapore that a U.S. campaign to ratchet up pressure on Beijing will not "have any effect," Reuters reported. “We hope that those directly involved in the United States’ trade policies can calm down, carefully listen to the voices of U.S. consumers...and hear the collective call of the international community.”


At a news briefing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang accused the U.S. of engaging in "blackmail," according to Reuters.

"This won’t work on China,” Geng said, adding that the Trump administration should "not blindly let emotions affect their decisions, because in the end this will harm themselves."

The pushback from Chinese officials comes a day after President TrumpDonald TrumpLil Wayne gets 11th hour Trump pardon Trump grants clemency to more than 100 people, including Bannon Trump expected to pardon Bannon: reports MORE asked U.S. Trade Representative Robert LighthizerBob LighthizerWhiskey, workers and friends caught in the trade dispute crossfire GOP senator warns quick vote on new NAFTA would be 'huge mistake' Pelosi casts doubt on USMCA deal in 2019 MORE to more than double planned tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports, to 25 percent from the initial 10 percent proposal.

Lighthizer told reporters on Wednesday that the additional tariffs are necessary because the original duties did not prompt China to change its trade policy.

"Regrettably, instead of changing its harmful behavior, China has illegally retaliated against U.S. workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses," he said.

Earlier this year Trump implemented tariffs on China, the European Union, Mexico and Canada, saying it was the surest way to secure improved trade deals. However, lawmakers from both parties have warned that the tariffs will ultimately harm American workers and consumers.

To offset some of the negative impact of Trump's tariffs, the administration has proposed a $12 billion aid package for farmers who are struggling to sell their products. That measure was also criticized by GOP lawmakers.