US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer criticized China’s protectionist policies towards its auto industry on Wednesday, telling reporters that his office was considering matching the 40% duties currently imposed on American cars by Beijing, Reuters reports.
The statement slammed China’s “egregious” tariffs on US autos, and said that any retaliatory measures were at the behest of the president.
“As the president has repeatedly noted, China’s aggressive, state-directed industrial policies are causing severe harm to US workers and manufacturers,” Lighthizer said. “We are continuing to raise these issues with China. As of yet, China has not come to the table with proposals for meaningful reform.”
The onset of the trade war has seen higher duties slapped on car imports from both countries. The US currently imposes a 25% tax on incoming Chinese vehicles in addition to the baseline 2.5% for all foreign cars. While China has cut back auto tariffs for all other countries, US vehicles were subjected to an extra 25% in a tit-for-tat move.