US and China trade war escalates

24 Aug 18

The US and China have escalated their ongoing trade war by implementing new 25% tariffs on billions of dollars worth of imports on both sides.

The world’s two largest economies have now put tariffs on a combined $100bn of products since early July, with the latest imposed after low-level talks in Washington this week.

America’s president Donald Trump yesterday put $16bn worth of tax on Chinese goods including automobiles, factory machinery and metals.

China retaliated immediately on the same value of US goods, in what the commence ministry said was a “necessary counter-attack” in a statement after the US tariffs began.

These will cover US goods such as coal, medical instruments, cars and buses.

China also said it plans to file a fresh complaint against the US’ tariffs at the World Trade Organization. It first filed a complaint in July after Trump imposed his first round of tariffs.

The fresh tariffs come as officials from both sides met in Washington this week. No other details were released about the two-day meeting that began on Wednesday. 

The US has also imposed taxes on Mexico, Canada and the EU, all of which have retaliated.

The Chinese foreign ministry said it hoped to reach a good result in trade talks with the US.

Economic commentator Hu Xingdou said: “If the trade war can end as soon as possible, I think the effect on the Chinese economy will be relatively small.

“But if the trade war continues to escalate, from $50bn to $200bn to $500bn, then the blow to China’s confidence will indeed be relatively large.”

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