USA tariffs against Chinese imports took effect early Friday and President Donald Trump made clear Thursday that he is prepared to sharply escalate a trade war between the world's two biggest economies.
Moreover, it's not inherently misguided to get tough with China over its relentless mercantilism, which has long disadvantaged US businesses and which more recently took the form of a "Made in China 2025" policy that seeks dominance for the People's Republic in cutting-edge technology. China's tariffs on major USA exports like soybeans, sorghum, and autos, target Republican areas ahead of United States midterm elections.
American Soybean Association President John Heisdorffer said the retaliatory tariffs will "sting" his industry.
China was set to hit back with taxes on an equal amount of USA products, including soybeans, lobsters, sport-utility vehicles and whiskey.
One area that will be hurt by U.S. tariffs is China's high tech industries, in things like new energy vehicles, robotics and other forms of smart manufacturing, that form the country's "Made in China 2025" industrial plan.
"There are no winners in a trade war", said William Zarit, chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China.
The US trade deficit in goods with China now stands at about $375bn.
Asian markets have taken a beating as threats heated up.
Chinese stocks actually rose after the announcement, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index up almost one per cent and the Shenzhen index climbing more than one per cent.
China's ruling Communist Party has insisted on making changes at its own pace while sticking to state-directed technology development seen as the path to prosperity and global influence.
After that, the hostilities could intensify: Trump said the U.S.is ready to target an additional $200 billionin Chinese imports - and then $300 billion more - if Beijing refuses to yield to US demands and continues to retaliate.
A 25% tariff is now being applied to $US34 billion worth of Chinese goods entering the United States.
The U.S. also has irked some of its closest allies by hiking import duties on steel, aluminum and autos from Europe, Japan, Canada and Mexico. Requests for comment went unanswered at the U.S. Treasury, USTR and the U.S. Commerce Department.
"So we have 50 plus 200 plus nearly 300", Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One on Thursday.
"This is a potential concern for the outlook of corporate investment and consumption around world", said Hui.
"A little fighting may be the only way the Trump administration clears its mind and allows everyone to sober up", the state-run Global Times said.
Economists have for months warned of the potential damage to the United States and global economies from aggressive trade policies and protectionism, which would raise prices and upend global supply chains.
"The first round's impact is not that big, but the key is whether there will be more - a second round of revenge and retaliation and a third round, " said Shi Yinhong, a professor of worldwide relations at Renmin University in Beijing.
Forecasters say global economic growth could be reduced by up to 0.5 percentage points in 2019-20 if both sides wind up raising tariffs on $250 billion of imports. Mary Lovely, economics professor at Syracuse University, says that roughly 60 percent of U.S.
The company wants customers to split the cost of the tariff hike, but few are willing, said Tong. "The marked increase in new trade restrictive measures among G20 economies should be of real concern to the global community", Mr. Azevedo said, adding that more restrictions had been put in place in the weeks after the period under review ended.
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