‘We have more bullets’ US in stern THREAT to China as Beijing imposes trade war tariffs

The economic dispute escalated today as the US and China imposed 25 percent tariffs on £12bn ($16bn) worth of each other’s goods.

The world’s two largest economies have slapped tit-for-tat tariffs on a combined £77bn ($100bn) of products since July.

Washington appears to believe it is winning the trade war as China’s economy slows and its stock markets tumble.

And US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross fired a stern warning to Beijing, saying: “They’re not going to give that up easily.

“Naturally they’ll retaliate a little bit. But at the end of the day, we have many more bullets than they do. They know it.

“We have a much stronger economy than they have, they know that too.”

China’s government said Donald Trump‘s administration was “remaining obstinate” by imposing the latest tariffs.

A Commerce Ministry spokesman said: “China resolutely opposes this, and will continue to take necessary countermeasures.”

The dispute centres around Mr Trump’s demand for Beijing to drop its protectionist economic stance and buy more US goods.

He has repeatedly hit out at China by claiming the Asian nation’s “unfair” trade practices are harming the US economy.

The tariffs took effect this morning amid two days of talks in Washington between officials from both sides.

But a pessimistic Mr Trump yesterday claimed the talks would make no real progress, saying: “I don’t anticipate much.

“It will take time because China’s done too well for too long, and they’ve become spoilt.”

The White House chief also accused China of manipulating its yuan currency to make up for the effect of tariffs.

He said: “I think China is manipulating their currency, absolutely.”

Scott Kennedy, from Washington’s Centre for Strategic and International Studies, said the trade war would continue to escalate.

He told CNBC: “I don’t see this ending soon, that’s for sure.

“The gulf between the Trump administration and the Chinese is as wide as the Pacific, and it looks like it’s getting wider.

“The Trump administration thinks they are winning, and the Chinese don’t look like they want to give in either.

“This will continue to play out with further escalation, finger-pointing and blaming, not a settling down of this any time soon.”