Chinese industries plan to ask authorities to start an anti-dumping investigation into pork imports from the European Union, the state-run Global Times said, citing information from a “business insider.”

It’s the latest hint via state media that China is ready to take retaliatory steps against the bloc amid escalating trade tensions. Days earlier, Global Times published an interview with a Chinese automotive expert who called for higher tariffs on cars with large engines, a move that would hit European auto firms like Mercedes-Benz Group AG and BMW AG. 

The trade dispute is heating up ahead of a key deadline for the EU investigation into China’s electric vehicle subsidies, with officials required to tell Chinese exporters by early June whether tariffs will be imposed. 

European leaders are increasingly echoing their US counterparts by accusing China of flooding world markets with its excess factory capacity. President Xi Jinping’s recent visit to the bloc appears to have done little to ease the tensions. 

China imported 1.55 million tons of pork last year and slightly more than half of it came from Europe, according to government customs data. Spain was the largest EU supplier, with sales of 382,000 tons.

Beijing already launched an anti-dumping investigation into European brandy imports in January.