Published: Sat, July 07, 2018
Markets | By Josh Butler

Trump to Pull Tariff Trigger at Midnight in Trade-War Escalation

Trump to Pull Tariff Trigger at Midnight in Trade-War Escalation

A spokesperson at China's Ministry of Commerce said Friday that while the Asian giant had refused to "fire the first shot", it was being forced to respond after the USA had "launched the largest trade war in economic history".

The Trump administration's 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods-hitting everything from industrial machinery to consumer goods such as televisions-went into effect Friday morning, prompting threats of an immediate response from the Chinese government, which also promised to haul the United States in front of the World Trade Organization.

President Donald Trump complains that the United States trade deficit with China is too large; that the Chinese government gives unfair support to its home-grown companies; that China steals intellectual property from the USA by various means.

It said the U.S. had violated World Trade Organization rules by imposing the tariffs, and indicated China would raise the issue with the regulatory body in time.

"China can impose leverage in areas outside the economic sphere".

Hours before Washington's deadline for the tariffs to take effect, US President Donald Trump upped the ante, warning that the United States may ultimately target over $500 billion worth of Chinese goods, or roughly the total amount of US imports from China previous year.

"China is forced to strike back to safeguard core national interests and the interests of its people", the Commerce Ministry said in a statement to CNN on Friday.

The two countries have engaged increasingly in verbal sparring in recent months, but Friday's pair of haymakers has dramatically escalated the trade dispute - and that has investors across the world worries about what comes next.

Global supply chains are now highly specialized and delicate, and disruption in one part of the production could imply a breakdown in the whole process, Hui said. United States tariffs on steel and aluminum imports have provoked retaliatory measures against billions of dollars of American exports. "And that's going to impact the stock market".

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In China, the yuan had been falling for several weeks as fears mounted that Beijing might resort to currency devaluation to give its exports an edge.

Substantial they may be, but the average US consumer will likely not see these impacts directly for a little while.

"While our 900 member companies continue to suffer from not having a level playing field in China, they are still extremely clear: Increased tensions in the U.S".

China added it had already imposed retaliatory measures on United States goods without immediately providing precise details.

But eventually those costs will take their toll on the average wallet - and it likely won't be simply because of these tariffs.

China's President Xi Jinping and President Donald Trump attend a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on November 9, 2017. "For example, they can quarantine [U.S.] products for a long time".

"We´re starting to see signs of inflation, not sharp inflation, but definitely inflation", Anthony Nieves, head of a services industry survey committee for the Institute for Supply Management, told reporters.

"Normally, if your papers are in order, the pork proceeds smoothly through customs and into the country", he says.

While Chinese state media have slammed Trump's trade policies and on Friday likened his administration to a "gang of hoodlums", the simmering conflict has gained little traction on China's tightly controlled social media, not cracking the 50 top-searched topics on the Twitter-like Weibo platform. "We have been in trade deficits with almost every country across the globe for years, and the President wants to ensure that that doesn't continue".

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