BEIJING, China - After the U.S. President Donald Trump signed an order imposing heavy tariffs on imported steel and aluminum - China has now retorted.
The country said that it will not initiate a “disastrous” trade war with the U.S.
On Sunday, China's Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan vowed to defend the country’s national interests in the face of growing American protectionism.
Previously too, Chinese leaders have threatened to retaliate against raised trade barriers, but have so far, not taken direct action following Trump's announcement.
In a briefing during a meeting of China's ceremonial legislature on Sunday, Zhong said that China can handle any challenges and will resolutely protect its interests, but the two countries will continue to talk.
He further said that any trade war with the U.S. will only bring disaster to the world economy.
Zhong said, “Nobody wants to fight a trade war, and everyone knows fighting one harms others and does not benefit oneself. There are no winners in a trade war. It will only bring disaster to China and the U.S. and the world.”
He alleged that the U.S. has been overstating its trade deficit with China by about 20 percent every year.
He also blamed the trade imbalance in part on controls over U.S. high-tech exports to China.
China’s capacity expansions have helped add to global surpluses of steel.
The U. S. is the world's biggest importer of steel, purchasing 35 million tonnes of raw material in 2017.
On Friday, China's metals industry issued the country's most explicit threat yet in reaction to Trump’s tariffs and asked the government to retaliate by targeting U.S. coal.