However, US President Donald Trump left open the door for reconciliation, saying he expected a “fruitful” meeting next month with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at a Group of 20 summit in Japan. Trump has meanwhile also ordered the start of a process to impose new duties on about $325 billion worth of additional Chinese merchandise. But he said Monday in Washington he had not decided whether he would ultimately impose those levies.
The increase in duty rates that Beijing announced Monday targets a range of American agricultural and manufactured goods, kicking levies up as high as 25 percent, according to a statement by the Tariff Policy Commission of the State Council -- China’s cabinet. Despite the retaliation, Beijing also appeared to give time to find a resolution by setting the June 1 date for those increases to take effect. “China’s adjustment of tariff-adding measures is a response to US unilateralism and trade protectionism,” the statement said, adding that it hoped the US would work with China towards a “win-win agreement.”
The announcement sent Wall Street stocks plunging, with the tech-rich Nasdaq having its worst day of 2019 and the benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average closing at its lowest level since February 11. But in a news conference, Trump was buoyant, telling reporters that his decision to increase tariffs was “a very positive step.”