China: We Won’t ‘Fire the First Shot’ in U.S. Tariffs Spat

The Chinese government on Wednesday vowed not to “fire the first shot” in its ongoing tariffs dispute with Washington, leaving the onus on the Trump administration to escalate the conflict with tariffs scheduled to take effect on Friday. The announcement comes after Beijing promised to retaliate against President Trump’s tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese products with reciprocal levies on U.S. goods. Beijing, which is 12 time zones ahead of Washington, D.C., would have put its tariffs into effect on Thursday afternoon, with the White House to unleash its own tariffs 12 hours later. China’s cabinet backed off that plan on Wednesday, however, and said it would wait for the U.S. tariffs to take effect first, apparently to avoid being seen as the instigator of the trade war.