US-China trade war escalates with new tariffs

Adding to tariffs it imposed on Chinese products in July, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative announced additional tariffs of 25 percent on 279 Chinese products on August 23. The measures amount to about $16 billion in new tariffs.

The Chinese government responded almost immediately by matching the move with tariffs on $16 billion worth of U.S. imports (NPR).

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The United States is “clearly suspected of violating WTO rules,” said the Chinese Ministry of Commerce in a statement (Chinese). “China firmly opposes (the tariffs) and has to continue to make the necessary counterattacks.” The ministry described the dispute between the two nations as the “largest trade war in economic history.”

In a statement, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said the U.S. tariffs were “part of the U.S. response to China’s unfair trade practices related to the forced transfer of American technology and intellectual property.”

The U.S. tariffs impose new fees on numerous industrial products, including polymers and plastics, manufacturing machinery, semiconductors, railway cars and motorcycles. A full list can be found here.

Chinese tariffs include targets on diesel fuel, coal, medical instruments and cars (NPR).

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Impact of tariffs U.S. business and consumers

• American farmers are the “biggest losers” in trade war, according to The Hill.

Impact of tariffs on Chinese business and consumers

• The South China Morning Post says the United States is “winning the trade war,” citing decrease in China’s economic growth.

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Political implications of U.S.-China trade war

• President Donald Trump’s core supporters in U.S. heartland are hardest hit by tariffs, says Financial Times.

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