Mubasher: As US President Donald Trump threatens to impose tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, Beijing has a wide variety of non-tariff barriers to hit back at Washington.
China only imports about $130 billion in American products, which limits its ability to respond in retaliatory tariffs to the US, which imported $505 billion worth of Chinese goods.
Nevertheless, the world’s second-largest economy could also retaliate with increasing regulatory controls on American companies through slowing down approval processes, cancelling orders for goods from the US, or support consumer boycotts, Bloomberg News reported.
For instance, large US firms, including Walmart and General Motors (GM), who have many businesses in China, could see their expansion plans thwarted.
China used such tactics with South Korean and Japanese companies before, with auto manufacturers caught in the crossfire, as Japanese carmakers saw their Chinese sales plunging in 2012, following a dispute escalation over islands in the East China Sea.
In 2017, Beijing also banned package tours to South Korea, placing a large dent in tourism on the back of a tension over a missile shield.
Moreover, China could resort to offloading its huge supply of US Treasury holdings, the New York-based news agency said.
Yuan could also be another option, as China allowed greater appreciation of its currency, which was applauded by its trading partners recently, despite no guarantees that the world’s second-largest economy would sustain the current level, have been provided.