U.S. Imposes Tariff On Chinese Imports; Beijing Fires Back

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"There are no winners in a trade war", said William Zarit, chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China.

Just hours after the United States introduced 25 percent trade tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods, Beijing has retaliated with mirror measures against American imports.

Washington has "ignited the biggest trade war in economic history", said a Commerce Ministry statement.

Retaliatory measures "took effect immediately", said a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, Lu Kang.

Some major Chinese ports delayed clearing goods from the United States, sources said, potentially disrupting imports worth billions of dollars as the world's top two economies head towards a trade war.

"For example, world-leading semiconductor companies are upset that chips made in the US and sent to China for assembly or testing will face a high tariff on their total value when they return".

With that now looking likely there are fears the world faces a wide scale trade war - with the U.S. also targeting Europe and Canada.

As the trade war with China - caused by tariffs demanded by Donald Trump - heats up, the editors of the Wall Street Journal have taken the president to task, sarcastically mocking him as a "master negotiator" who has yet to negotiate any deals while causing damage to the USA economy.

Adding to concerns this week was a leaked report suggesting Trump had asked his officials to look at pulling the United States out of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) altogether. The tariffs on the European Union went into force on June 1.

USA crude stood 0.2 percent higher at $73.09 a barrel.

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"But it's the risk of escalation - specifically Trump's $500 billion dollar threat, which would cover almost all of China's exports to the USA - that has analysts anxious", Yanmei said.

While China has signalled a willingness to buy more American goods to balance out the deficit, it has refused to trade away what it views as an essential part of its economic future.

"By threatening unilateral action without having any allies and not reducing domestic discord on trade, the Trump administration has invited China to stand tough", said Scott Kennedy, director of the Project on Chinese Business and Political Economy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. America is the world's largest exporter of soy beans, and China is the world's largest consumer of them.

Chinese policy analyst Yanmei Xie said the impact will be immediate and substantial for industries directly impacted by the USA tariffs.

Why is the U.S. imposing tariffs?

Kent Bacus, who heads trade for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, said, "We're hopeful that the administration is going to be successful, but we need them to be successful very soon". "And the impact on USA business, in my estimation, will be substantial".

Some Republican lawmakers lashed out at Trump, saying his trade war will hurt farmers and others. "The trade relationship between the United States and China must be much more equitable".

Economists say that if the back-and-forth stops there, the overall impact on both economies will be minimal even though some industries will suffer.

Trump ran for the White House on a vow to reverse decades of US policy by scrapping deals that he said put American manufacturers at a competitive disadvantage and by forcing USA trading partners to shrink their trade surpluses with the United States. Mary Lovely, economics professor at Syracuse University, says that roughly 60 percent of U.S. The Communist Party newspaper People's Daily said they were imposed on a $34 billion list of goods issued last month that included soybeans, pork and electric vehicles.

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