Friday, August 24, 2018

U.S.-China trade war escalates with new 25% tariffs

In the latest salvo of the trade war between China and the United States, both countries implemented 25 percent tariffs on $16 billion of each other's goods on Thursday.

That makes for tariffs on a combined $100 billion of products since July, and more may come: "President Donald Trump has threatened to put duties on almost all of the more than $500 billion of Chinese goods exported to the United States annually unless Beijing agrees to sweeping changes to its intellectual property practices, industrial subsidy programmes and tariff structures, and buys more U.S. goods," Michael Martina and David Lawder report for Reuters. "That figure would be far more than China imports from the United States, raising concerns that Beijing could consider other forms of retaliation, such as making life more difficult for American firms in China or allowing its yuan currency to weaken further to support its exporters."

Chinese officials said they would "continue to take necessary countermeasures" to American tariffs and will file suit under World Trade Organization dispute resolution rules. Meanwhile, mid-level officials from both countries keep trying to hammer out an agreement. The Trump administration appears to believe it's winning the trade war, since China's economy and stock markets have taken recent dives

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