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Chinese and U.S. flags are set up for a signing ceremony during a visit by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao at China's Ministry of Transport in Beijing, China April 27, 2018.

The United States was the fourth-largest supplier of foreign chocolate products to China in 2017, worth around $24 million, after Italy, Russia and Belgium, according to customs data.

The Republican president has been keen to show he is tough on trade ahead of tricky congressional elections in November, joking at a rally in Pennsylvania on Thursday: "China is not happy with me".

Slapping additional tariffs on Chinese imports - 60 per cent of which are made by foreign firms, including American companies - will only raise costs for domestic usa consumers, said Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

The two countries have not had formal trade talks since early June.

In July, Washington fired the first salvo in the escalating trade war with Beijing by introducing 25 percent tariffs on Chinese imports worth $34 billion.

Today's threat targeting a smaller amount of USA goods reflects the fact that Beijing is running out of products for retaliation due to its lopsided trade balance with the United States.

Making fun of Trump's economic ignorance and contradictory claims isn't very enjoyable when you realize that his sole policy impulse in dealing with growing trade balances is likely to be a doubling or tripling down on tariffs and other trade barriers.

"I am not another politician".

In a message to the White House, China's finance ministry said exactly when the tariffs would come into force would depend on Washington's response.

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The White House issued a statement Friday, condemning the proposal.

The ministry said timing of the implementation of the new tariffs on USA goods would depend on the actions of the US.

A statement said: "Any unilateral threat or blackmail will only lead to intensification of conflicts and damage to the interests of all parties".

"Foreign investors don't want to be in China".

Washington and Beijing are locked in a battle over American accusations that China's export economy benefits from unfair policies and subsidies, as well as theft of American technological know-how.

The latest Chinese response shows the limits of Beijing's ability to hit back at Washington dollar for dollar, given that China's exports to the United States far exceed its U.S. imports.

The US, the world's largest economy, has a trade deficit of nearly United States dollars 500 billion with China, the world's second largest economy.

Beijing can not match those measures dollar for dollar, as its exports far exceed imports. U.S. tariffs on another $16 billion worth of Chinese imports are set to be enacted at a later date.

"They can expand their stimulus, fiscal spending, bank lending", he said. But they have rejected changing technology development plans they see as a path to prosperity and global influence.


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