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Last update08:00:00 PM GMT

08 Jul 2018

China won't “fire the first shot” in US-China trade war

China's State Council has said that it will not impose tariffs on US goods before the US does, in a sign that the country's leaders may be considering the timing of levying any retaliatory tariffs given the timezone difference between the US and China.

China announced on June 15 that it will levy a 25% tax on US soybeans from July 6; the same day that the US is set to apply taxes to $34 billion worth of Chinese products in a step announced earlier by the Trump administration.

“The Chinese government’s position has repeatedly stated that we will never fire the first shot and will not impose tariff adjustment measures before the United States,” the note published Wednesday on the Chinese State Council’s website said.

The US tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods will start just past midnight on Friday morning Eastern time.

However, with Beijing being 12 hours ahead, it would mean that China can only implement the tax after midday Friday if it is to avoid technically, and symbolically, striking first.

China imports 30 million mt of soybeans from the US annually, about a third of its total yearly import requirements. Agricensus

Last modified on Sunday, 08 July 2018 07:09
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