China has vowed to fire back at the Trump administration for starting “the biggest trade war in economic history” as U.S. tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods took effect Friday. Immediately after the 25 percent tariffs kicked in at noon Beijing time, China’s Commerce Ministry said it would be “forced to make a necessary counterattack” to the Trump administration’s “trade bullying” but gave no timeframe for when its retaliatory tariffs would take effect. Beijing had earlier announced it would let Washington “fire the first shot” and impose its own tariffs only afterward. The Chinese government also said it would report the U.S. to the WTO for the move, which was lambasted in state media as an example of the White House “behaving like a gang of hoodlums with its shakedown of other countries.” Shortly before the U.S. tariffs took effect, Trump announced plans to escalate the dispute even further with an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese products to be considered for new tariffs.
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