China’s commerce minister warned against a trade war with the U.S. as a result of President Trump ‘s tariffs on Sunday, saying it would bring disaster to the global community.
“There are no winners in a trade war,” Zhong Shan said, according to Reuters. “It will only bring disaster to China and the United States and the world.”
“Nobody wants to fight a trade war, and everyone knows fighting one harms others and does not benefit oneself,” he continued.
Trump on Thursday enacted tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum, going against the wishes of numerous Republicans and the European Union. He temporarily exempted Mexico and Canada from the tariffs.
“Today, I am defending America’s national security by placing tariffs on foreign imports of steel and aluminum,” Trump said in the White House.
“This has been an assault on our country,” he continued. He later dismissed threats of retaliation by other countries by saying, “trade wars are good, and easy to win.” China has vowed to make a “justified and necessary response” to tariffs. “Especially given today’s globalization, choosing a trade war is a mistaken prescription. The outcome will only be harmful,” Foreign Minister Wang Yi said. “China would have to make a justified and necessary response.”
The tariffs are considered to be targeted at China due to the country’s production of global surpluses of steel.
China’s metals industry has urged the government to retaliate against the tariffs, but Chinese steel accounts for only a small part of U.S. steel imports.
Trump has long ripped into China, saying on the campaign trail the Beijing has been able to “rape our country.” He accused China of manipulating its currency to make its exports competitive on the global market.