NEW DELHI: Touted as the biggest in history, a trade war between the US and China officially began on Friday as the Donald Trump administration’s proposed imposition of tariffs on Chinese products came into effect.
As reported earlier, the US has imposed 25 per cent duties on about $34 billion worth of Chinese products including industrial machinery, medical devices and auto parts.
China, reacting on Trump’s war on goods from that country, said it would fight back.
“China promised not to fire the first shot, but in order to safeguard the country’s core interests as well as that of the people, it is forced to fight back,” China’s Commerce Ministry said. It also blamed the US of igniting the largest trade war in economic history.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said the US has blatantly violated the WTO rules. “It will surely impact the global trade order, trigger global market fluctuation and impede economic recovery,” Kang said.
While the statement betrayed no details of Beijing’s plans to respond to the new tariffs, it is likely that China would match the US measures dollar-for-dollar. It is reported that China has proposed to target over 100 products, which include soybean, cars and airplanes from the US.
The recent development is being seen as a beginning episode that may escalate to a trade war much bigger in size. Trump, time and again, has shown his decisiveness to impose tariffs on almost $500 billion worth Chinese goods, the vast majority of imports, in an effort to cut down its trade imbalance with China. The US trade deficit in goods with China reached $375.2 billion last year.
“Thirty-four, and then you have another 16 in two weeks and then, as you know, we have 200 billion in abeyance and then after the 200 billion, we have 300 billion in abeyance,” Trump told international media on Thursday.
The trade war with China also comes at time when the Trump administration is at odds with European Union and has asked nations to cut trade ties with Iran, which has resulted in an upward movement of international oil prices.