1. Commerce
April 6, 2018

Trump has again stepped up his trade war with China, while Beijing is prepared to fight at “any cost”

By Rachel Dobbs

The tit-for-tat trade war between US President Donald Trump and China continues to escalate.

Last night Trump announced that the US was considering an extra $100 billion of tariffs against China.

These would be on top of the tariffs on Chinese imports worth $50 billion announced on Tuesday and would — according to Trump — readdress an imbalance caused by China stealing US intellectual property.

Trump said in statement that more tariffs against China were being considered “in light of China’s unfair retaliation” against those tariffs the US had already laid out.



China’s response on Wednesday had been to announce matching tariffs worth $50 billion on 106 important US products, many of which will hit American producers hard. The list includes soybeans, aircraft parts, cars, beef and whiskey.

Yesterday Trump branded this retaliation by China as “unfair”. He also said that he had told officials to administer a plan meant to protect US farmers and agricultural interests.

He said:

Rather than remedy its misconduct, China has chosen to harm our farmers and manufacturers.

Beijing seems unfazed by the prospect of a worsening standoff with the US over trade.

In a statement the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said:

We do not want to fight a trade war, but we are not afraid to fight a trade war.

The ministry also makes it clear that they think the tensions are Trump’s fault and that they are willing to escalate further if necessary.

It said:

If the US disregards opposition from China and the international community and insists on carrying out unilateralism and trade protectionism, the Chinese side will take them on until the end at any cost.

This particular row began in March when the US imposed new tariffs on steel and aluminium, with China being hit before other larger steel exporters.

Markets have been rattled by the row, with the dollar sliding against other major currencies and some stocks suffering.

However, this latest development seems to have had little effect, with Asia trade opening at comfortable levels this morning.

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