USA launches tariffs on $50B of Chinese goods, China retaliates immediately

Trump levies $50 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods, and Beijing retaliates

Trump, on Friday, had accused China of intellectual property theft and unfair trade practices as he announced 25 per cent tariff on United States dollars 50 billion worth of Chinese goods.

The moves brought the world's two largest economies to the verge of an all-out confrontation long feared by markets and industry. The rate is the same, 25 percent, and so is the collective value of the goods-$50 billion.

China on Saturday unveiled a list of products from the United States that will be subject to additional tariffs in response to USA announcement to impose additional duties on Chinese imports.

Beijing said on Saturday that it was responding in "equal scale" to Trump's tariff rise on Chinese goods, in a conflict over China's estimated $336bn trade surplus and technology policy that companies worry could quickly escalate and chill global economic growth.

"Any tariff or tax put in place will have a significant impact, not only to the USA soybean market but to Iowa's, because we're such a large producer", Chad Hart, an Iowa State University economist, told the Register.

China retaliated, saying it would impose an additional 25% tariff on 659 USA goods worth $50bn.

But it is likely companies will seek more exemptions so the final total could fall short of that amount.

The first stage covers about $34 billion in imports to be subject to an additional 25 percent tariff starting July 6.

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His comments came as a number of Democrats appeared to back Trump's announcement on tariffs, while some Republicans remained skeptical about the issue. But Trump now has opened up a new front in a global trade battle.

After the U.S. announcement, China's commerce ministry responded by saying that it would "immediately introduce countermeasures of the same scale and strength", although it did not go into detail.

"My great friendship with President Xi of China and our country's relationship with China are both very important to me", Trump said in a statement Friday.

It also called on other countries to "take collective action" against this "outdated and backwards behavior". However, ten days later, the White House abruptly announced its decision to proceed with the tariffs.

"We have taken essentially a defensive action", a senior USA official told reporters, adding that "further threats that are going to hurt other industries... would be a mistake". Chinese officials say they will slap duties on 545 USA products on July 6, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

Soybean exports to China could drop by as much as 65 percent if China imposes a retaliatory 25 percent tariff on soy, according to a study cited by the American Soybean Association.

Beijing is imposing the tariffs in two steps as is the Trump administration. It also added, "China is a powerful guardian and has enough ammunition to defend existing trade rules and fairness".

On Capitol Hill, influential Texas Republican lawmaker Kevin Brady, chairman of a House tax legislation committee, said he was "alarmed" by the tariffs which he said exposed United States industries to "devastating retaliation".

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