Government hails China's 'measured' reply to US tariffs




New Zealand's government has welcomed the "measured" scale of retaliation by China against United States steel tariffs, but warns the fallout from a trade-war would be bad news.

Trade Minister David Parker.

Trade Minister David Parker.

Source: 1 NEWS

China has announced it is imposing tariffs of up to 25 per cent on a list of 128 products imported from the US in response to US President Donald Trump's recent tariffs on imports of steel and aluminium.

It's sparked concerns about escalation and a potential trade war.

Trade Minister David Parker today described the Chinese response as measured.

"We still risk the escalation of these tit-for-tat measures, so we're pleased to see that their response has been targeted and moderate," he said.

But he and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern both warned that - as a small trading trading nation - New Zealand risked being caught up if the situation worsened.

"Any kind of trade war has an effect on New Zealand in the sense that we rely on international rules and regulations to enable us, as a small country, to access fair trade," Ms Ardern told reporters.

"That's the flow-on impact for us."

Meanwhile, the government is still waiting for a reply as to whether it will get an exemption from the US tariffs, as Australia has.

"It's disappointing we haven't yet achieved [an exemption]. Whether we will, we don't yet know," Mr Parker said.

There was no timeline for an outcome, he said.

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