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Border guards work at a container port in Qingdao, Shandong province, China, Mar. 08, 2018. EPA-EFE/FILE/YU FANGPING CHINA OUT
Border guards work at a container port in Qingdao, Shandong province, China, Mar. 08, 2018. EPA-EFE/FILE/YU FANGPING CHINA OUT

China announces 25 percent import duties on 106 U.S. products

New measures and countermeasures have led to fears of a possible trade war between the world's two largest economies.

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China announced Wednesday a fresh import tariff of 25 percent on a total of 106 American products — including soy, automobiles, and planes — worth $50 billion.

China's commerce ministry announced the new tariffs without specifying the date they will come into effect in response to duties imposed by President Donald Trump on imports from China.

Beijing claims the measure will defend China's legal rights in an emergency situation created by the U.S. in contravention of international trade rules.

Earlier, China, the second largest trade partner of the U.S., had announced levies on 128 American products after Washington had announced import duties on Chinese steel and aluminum last month.

China's current list comes after the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) published Tuesday a list of 1,300 Chinese products on which it planned to impose duties over unfair trade practices.

The USTR list, which includes medicines and technology devices related to the aerospace and robotics industries, is now out for a 30-day public scrutiny before the tariffs take effect.

In March, Trump announced the U.S. would impose duties of up to $60 billion on imports from China, however, the USTR announced Tuesday that the final volume affected would be $50 billion.

The measures and countermeasures have led to fears of a possible trade war between the world's two largest economies.

Beijing had repeatedly said it did not fear a trade war with the U.S. but that it would prefer dialogue to prevent such an outcome.

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