United States tariffs on Chinese imports take effect

There are reports China is delaying US imports from entering the country

There are reports China is delaying US imports from entering the country

Team Trump and China slapped tit-for-tat tariffs on $34 billion worth of United States and Chinese imports on Friday, with Beijing accusing Washington of triggering the "largest-scale trade war" as the world's two biggest economies escalated their battle. They kicked in just after midnight ET, which is noon in Beijing. It's very hard for American companies in the auto sector or in financial services to sell into the China market, because there's a lot of regulatory barriers.

Beijing insists it's the injured party.

"China promised not to fire the first shot, but in order to safeguard the country's core interests as well as that of the people, it is forced to fight back", a spokesperson for China's ministry of commerce said, according to news agency Xinhua.

The U.S. pork industry past year sent $1.1 billion worth of product to China, making it the third largest export market after Japan and Mexico.

Ballpark estimates from economists show that every $100 billion of imports affected by tariffs chip away around 0.5 per cent of global trade, wiping off 0.1 percentage points of GDP growth. However, if and when the war escalates, tariffs would go up on the daily necessities Americans have got used to buying cheap.

China said it plans to inform the World Trade Organization about the "situation" and work with other countries to defend the multilateral system of free trade, the ministry said.

While Friday's tariffs will likely hit consumers eventually, Trump's threat to impose tariffs on another $200 billion worth of Chinese exports to the United States would likely result in more direct pain for consumers. The rest of the world would suffer collateral damage, even if the USA were to refrain from penalising imports from other countries. "We urge the Trump administration and China to rescind these tariffs that leave our farmers footing the bill".

American soybeans are the biggest target of China's retaliatory tariffs but that does not mean soybean farmers have turned against President Donald Trump. He added the USA is ready to target an additional $200 billion, and then $300 billion more should Beijing retaliate. According to calculations by Goldman Sachs, if the full scope of Trump's proposed protectionism is implemented, it would raise the total amount of goods subject to tariffs to almost $800 billion.

Chinese officials announced that retaliatory tariffs on US goods would immediately go into effect on American exports like soybeans, seafood, SUVs and crude oil. "So we have 50 plus 200 plus nearly 300", he said.

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"I think the president is spreading his wings too far, and I think he's covering too many bases and really not accomplishing much".

The clash with China comes as the Trump administration is also fighting over trade with American allies such as Canada and the European Union.

But that step raises costs for USA companies that rely on Chinese-made machinery or components.

Trump's comments appeared to increase the stakes for potential retaliation by China.

US Customs and Border Protection said in a notice it would begin collecting the 25 per cent duties on 818 product lines identified in June by the US Trade Representative's Office. "No one wins in a trade war, and it is America's manufacturing workers and working families who will bear the brunt of continued tariffs".

"The Trump administration also believes that at least starting a trade war is in its interests; the USA economy is strong enough to endure a crimp in trade, the president's domestic political standing is as strong as ever amongst Republicans, and pushing China hard on trade may help restore United States credibility on other issues", he added. I've seen two hardliners struggle over a podium, vying for a chance to broadcast Trump's harsh message on economic issues, while the holdovers sit quietly at the side of the room. Though still positive, companies' confidence fell to the lowest level since August.

He described the U.S. actions "a violation of world trade rules" and accused Donald Trump of "initiating the largest-scale trade war in economic history".

The initial tariff threat was once considered by many analysts to be merely a negotiating tactic.

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