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China has promised to take "necessary countermeasures" against the U.S. if Washington follows through on its threat to increase tariffs Friday on Chinese goods.
China's Commerce Ministry said Wednesday that Beijing will retaliate if U.S. tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods are hiked to 25% from 10% as threatened by President Donald Trump on Sunday.
"The escalation of trade friction is not in the interests of the people of the two countries and the people of the world," the ministry said. "The Chinese side deeply regrets that if the US tariff measures are implemented, China will have to take necessary countermeasures."
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders later reinforced Trump's tweet, saying the administration has received "indications" from the delegation that they would like to make a deal. The precise "indications" conveyed by the Chinese were not immediately clear and Sanders did not offer further detail.
Trump's declaration that Beijing is looking to strike an agreement also followed an earlier tweet from the president, in which he claimed to know why China backed away from the negotiating table.
Trump said China is hoping that, if a Democrat is elected president in the 2020 election, the new administration will abandon the aggressive trade rhetoric.