US calls China’s tariffs on American autos ‘egregious’

China on Friday accused the United States of starting "the biggest trade war in economic history" as the two sides imposed steep new tariffs on tens of billions of dollars of each other's exports.

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Three days before a U.S.-China summit, the top U.S. trade official is blasting Beijing for imposing “egregious” taxes on American-made cars.

In a statement Wednesday, U.S. Trade Rep. Robert Lighthizer complained that China slaps 40 percent tariffs on U.S. auto imports _ more than the 15 percent tariffs it imposes on other countries and the 27.5 percent U.S. tax on Chinese auto imports.

Lighthizer said the president had directed him to “examine all available tools to equalize the tariffs applied to automobiles.”

The statement comes before a dinner meeting Saturday in Buenos Aires, Argentina, between President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping. The two leaders are expected to seek a resolution to a trade dispute between their countries that has shaken financial markets and threatened the global economy.