Washington launches trade war measures against China


Washington launches trade war measures against China

Ben McGrath

16 June 2018

The United States went ahead on Friday with the imposition of 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods, with the threat of additional tariffs in the future. The decision by the Trump Administration to launch a trade war between the world’s two largest economies will contribute to the already growing tensions and danger of military conflict in the Asia-Pacific region.

The first set of tariffs worth $34 billion will take effect on July 6 while the additional $16 billion of tariffs will be applied at a later date. President Trump claimed that these measures would “serve as an initial step toward bringing balance to the trade relationship between the United States and China” while couching it in phony terms of protecting American jobs. The sectors targeted include aerospace, robotics, manufacturing, and the auto industries.

The United States has “now launched a trade war,” China’s Commerce Ministry responded, saying it would immediately implement “countermeasures of the same scale and strength.” The ministry further stated that all previous trade talks would be invalid. Beijing then announced $50 billion worth of tariffs on US products on agriculture, automobiles, and seafood, among others, and similarly split into $34 and $16 billion installments.

Washington has already pledged to impose additional tariffs on Chinese products if Beijing retaliates while blaming China for supposedly conducting unfair trade practices and stealing intellectual property for years.

Trump’s trade war measures against China were praised by leading Democrats, who had previously criticized his decision to impose steel and aluminum tariffs of up to 25 percent on US allies. “The…

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