BEIJING – The Chinese Ministry of Commerce said Monday that Chinese companies had suspended purchases of US agricultural products.
Earlier on Monday, US media reported that Beijing had asked state-owned companies to suspend imports of US agricultural products.
The measure is part of the trade war between China and the US. US President Donald Trump recently threatened the Chinese by imposing a 10% tariff on $ 300 billion in imports of products from China.
“China’s market capacity is large, with bright prospects for importing high-quality agricultural products from the US,” the ministry said, saying it expects Washington to keep its promises to create “necessary conditions” for continued cooperation.
In addition to the suspension of Chinese agricultural purchases, reported by Reuters , China is considering imposing tariffs on all US-sourced products.
Earlier, China had also announced the devaluation of its currency, the Yuan, against the US Dollar, which had an impact on the financial market around the world.
US and Chinese officials are expected to continue trade talks next month in Washington.
Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that members of Trump’s cabinet opposed the tariffs he announced against China, including Homeland Security adviser John Bolton.
Beijing previously stated that it intended to retaliate for any tariffs imposed by the US, saying that countermeasures would go through various products.
The trade war began in mid-2018 with announcements of Trump tariffs on Chinese products. Since then, China has been reluctant to escalate the trade war.
Nonetheless, following the announcement of new tariffs by Donald Trump on Thursday (1), Chinese Times editor-in-chief Hu Xijin said Beijing would change its stance.
New tariffs will by no means bring closer a deal that the US wants, it will only make it further away. I think the Chinese will no longer give priority to controlling trade war scale, they will focus on the national strategy under a prolonged trade war.
— Hu Xijin 胡锡进 (@HuXijin_GT) August 1, 2019
According to Xijin’s announcement, the Chinese stance would no longer worry about “controlling the escalation” of the trade war, focusing on a “national strategy under a protracted trade war.”