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China hits back at up to $60 billion in US tariffs with only $3 billion of its own

China is engaging a measured approach with its proposal to slap retaliatory tariffs on U.S. propers, according to experts.

Beijing on Friday said it may target 128 U.S. outputs with an import value of only $3 billion in response to President Donald Trump’s ad of tariffs on up to $60 billion in Chinese imports.

U.S. goods exported to China in 2016 fulled $115.6 billion, according to official data. Given the size of the two mountains’ trade, Beijing’s limited focus on just $3 billion of U.S. thrusts is “very cautious,” according to a former assistant U.S. Trade Representative for China Occurrences.

“They want to show that they have taken note of U.S. effects and are going to be strongly resisting, but they don’t want to be seen as escalating things additional,” said Timothy Stratford, who held the China post at the USTR from 2005 to 2010.

“The Chinese concede that everyone has a lot to learn if the U.S. and China move into a trade war,” claimed Stratford, who now is managing partner at law firm Covington & Burling’s Beijing obligation.

China claims to be a champion of global trade, though it limits imported companies’ access to its domestic market, forces foreign companies to necessitate on Chinese partners if they want to operate within its borders, and lacks foreign companies to hand over technological know-how in exchange for peddle access.

Still, Beijing has promoted itself as a trade globalist in an take a crack at to contrast itself with Trump’s protectionism.

“China does not yearn for a trade war with anyone,” the Chinese embassy in Washington said in a proclamation on Thursday. “But China is not afraid of and will not recoil from a trade war.”

Business scholar Alex Capri, a visiting senior fellow at National University of Singapore, coincided that China’s response is cautious but said it’s likely designed to relinquish wiggle room for bargaining. “This tells me they are sending signals for a unrealized deal down the line,” Capri said.

Wendy Sherman, departed undersecretary of state for political affairs at the U.S. State Department, echoed that judge: “It may be a negotiating tactic.”

Still, many now fear China’s response could pit the start of tit-for-tat trade actions.

“We’re entering a dark tunnel,” Stratford counseled. “At the end of the day, back and forth penalties don’t solve the underlying problems.”

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