US President Donald Trump fired the biggest shot yet in the global trade war by imposing tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese imports. China retaliated.
Duties on Chinese goods started at 12:01 a.m. Friday in Washington, just after midday in China. Another $16 billion of goods could follow in two weeks, Trump earlier told reporters, before suggesting the final total could eventually reach $550 billion, a figure that exceeds all of US goods imports from China in 2017.
US customs officials will begin collecting an additional 25 per cent tariff on imports from China of goods ranging from farming plows to semiconductors and airplane parts. China has said it would respond by imposing higher levies on an equivalent amount of goods ranging from American soybeans to automobiles, which may in turn prompt Trump to raise trade barriers even higher.
China’s tariff actions in response took effect at 12:01 p.m. in Beijing, state news agency Xinhua reported, citing an unidentified official from the General Administration of Customs.
“Our view is that trade war is never a solution,” Chinese Premier Li Keqiang told reporters in the Bulgarian capital Sofia, after meeting his counterpart. “No one will emerge as a winner from trade war, it benefits no one.”
European stocks trimmed gains and US equity-index futures fluctuated after China said it’s retaliating to US trade tariffs that kicked in Friday. The dollar and Treasuries edged lower as traders looked ahead to US jobs data.