5 ways China can retaliate to U.S. protectionist tariff on solar panels: newspaper

Updated 2018-01-25 16:25:01 Xinhua

The latest U.S. tariff on solar panels could lead to countermeasures from China to offset the protectionist move, a Chinese daily said.

Global Times published a commentary Wednesday that said the 30-percent tariff,stemming from U.S. President Donald Trump's "America First" policy, breaches World Trade Organization rules.

The article asked if the move was "indeed a trade war with China or just early steps headed in that direction," and said China's Ministry of Commerce should resort to regular countermoves.

It listed five measures it said China should not hesitate to take "the next time they levy tariffs against China." These are: raising health and safety standards for U.S. beef exports to China, limiting the volume of U.S. exports of electric and mechanical parts and other accessories, regulating Airbus or Boeing purchases, regulating the number of Chinese students studying in the U.S., and selling some U.S. treasury bonds.

Trump on Monday approved high tariffs on imported solar panels and washing machines, saying it was done to protect U.S. jobs and U.S. manufacturers. But the move has triggered concerns over trade frictions.

Tariffs of up to 30 percent will be imposed on solar cells and modules for the next four years, making China, the world's largest solar panel producer, suffer most.

However, Trump's move could backfire, resulting in massive job losses. The U.S. Solar Energy Industries Association has predicted that the tariffs could cut solar installations this year by nearly 20 percent and lead to the loss of 23,000 jobs in the United States.

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