China strongly condemns and firmly opposes the US tariff proposals and is ready to take countermeasures on US products, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said on Wednesday.
A MOC spokesperson made the statement after the US administration announced a proposed list of products subject to additional tariffs, which covers Chinese exports worth $50 billion with a suggested tariff rate of 25 percent, Xinhua news agency reported.
"Disregarding strong representations by China, the US announced the tariff proposals that are completely unfounded, a typical unilateralist and protectionist practice that China strongly condemns and firmly opposes," according to the statement.
The US side published the list in disregard of the mutually-beneficial and win-win nature of the China-US commercial cooperation in the past 40 years, the appeal of the Chinese and American business communities and the interests of consumers, it said.
The move went against the interests of China, the US and the world economy, seriously violating the basic principles and spirit of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
China plans to immediately bring relevant US practice to the dispute settlement body of the WTO, and is ready to take countermeasures on US products with equal force and scale that will be published in the coming days.
"We have the confidence and ability to respond to any US trade protectionist measures," the spokesperson said.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang also made a response Wednesday, saying the US tariff proposals are "typical unilateralist and protectionist action".
China strongly condemns and firmly opposes such action, Lu said.
Despite strong warnings from business groups and trade experts, US President Donald Trump signed a memorandum on March 22 that could impose tariffs on Chinese imports and restrictions on Chinese investment in the US.
The memorandum is based on a Section 301 investigation, launched by the Trump administration in August 2017, into alleged Chinese intellectual property and technology transfer practices.
The move came after the US administration took an increasingly hawkish turn on China, as it blamed its trade deficit with major trading partners for its domestic economic woes and job losses.