The Latest: China ready to retaliate if US imposes tariffs

An investor checks stock prices at a brokerage house in Beijing, Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018. Asian markets are mixed on fears that the U.S. would soon impose tariffs on another $200 billion of Chinese goods, as public consultations draw to a close. (AP Photo/Andy Wong) –The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the U.S.-China trade war (all times local):

4:30 a.m.

China’s government says it is ready to retaliate if the U.S. ahead with a tariff hike on Chinese goods and expressed confidence it can maintain “steady and healthy” economic growth.

A Commerce Ministry spokesman said Thursday that “necessary countermeasures” are ready if 25 percent penalties due to be announced as early this week on a $200 billion list of Chinese products take effect. The Chinese measures target $60 billion of American goods.

The two governments already have imposed penalty duties on $50 billion of each other’s exports in their dispute over U.S. complaints that Beijing steals or pressures companies to hand over technology.

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Spokesman Gao Feng says “China is confident, capable and able to maintain steady and healthy development of the Chinese economy.”

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3 a.m.

The Trump administration may be about to slap tariffs of up to 25 percent on an additional $200 billion in Chinese goods, escalating a confrontation between the world’s two biggest economies and likely squeezing U.S. companies that import everything from handbags to bicycle tires.

The administration could decide to begin taxing the imports — equal to nearly 40 percent of all the goods China sold the United States last year — after a public comment period ends Thursday.

The administration has already imposed tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese products, and Beijing has punched back with tariffs on $50 billion in American goods. These U.S. goods include soybeans and beef — a direct shot at supporters of President Donald Trump in the U.S. farm belt.

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