A ship unloads shipping containers at the Port of Los Angeles. © EPA

China has said it will impose tariffs on 106 products originating from the United States, according to an announcement on state television on Wednesday, in response to tariffs on Chinese imports outlined hours earlier by the US.

CCTV said:

The Tariff Commission of the State Council has decided to impose an additional tariff of 25% on 14 categories of 106 products such as soybeans, automobiles, and chemical products originating in the United States. 

The implementation date will be determined by the implementation of the US government's additional tariffs on Chinese products, and will be announced separately. 

China's finance ministry said in an online statement, that "America's measures [to impose tariffs] have violated the rules of the World Trade Organisation, and have seriously violated China's legal rights".

Its own new tariffs are “in line with our rights and commitments under the WTO” as well as domestic trade law, the finance ministry said.

The Trump administration revealed plans for a 25 per cent tariff on 1,333 Chinese products ranging from industrial robots to locomotives, covering imports worth $50bn last year.

The US exported almost $14bn of soyabeans to China last year, over a tenth of total exports to the Asian country. The impact on Chinese imports will be diminished for the next six months, when China seasonally imports them mostly from South America. But if prolonged into the autumn, the levies are also likely to hurt Chinese households that depend on the yellow bean for cooking oil and other basic foods.

The price of US corn and soybeans tumbled on the futures market in response to the news. Soyabean futures dropped 3 per cent while corn for May delivery tumbled 3.1 per cent, according to Reuters data tracking activity on the Chicago Board of Trade.

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