Are US and China on the brink of a trade war?

Greek kalamata olives

China fired back on Saturday in a spiralling trade dispute with US President Donald Trump by raising import duties on a $34-billion list of American goods including soybeans, electric cars and whiskey. In one of those agreements, which was conditional on Trump not threatening new tariffs, China promised to buy $70 billion worth of US agricultural and energy products - a trade-deficit reducing deal which Trump had prematurely hailed as a victory.

Trump kicked off the action in March with the announcement that the U.S. would impose tariffs on Chinese goods as punishment for the theft of USA intellectual property by China.

The official also said the United States statement, which said Washington would continue to impose additional tariffs if China takes retaliatory measures, has come to China's notice and it reserves the rights to take corresponding measures.

China said it would introduce measures of the "same scale and the same strength" immediately.

He has previously put tariffs on washing machines, solar products, steel and aluminum - that the US imports from different parts of the world.

However many economists and businesses in the United States say the tariffs are likely to hurt some of the sectors the administration is trying to protect, which depend on China for parts or assembly.

"The United States will pursue additional tariffs" if China retaliates, President Trump said in a White House statement. Tariffs on any products added to the U.S. Trade Representative's list would be subject to a period of public feedback.

The tariffs will go into effect July 6.

The 25% tariff issued by the Chinese government includes everything from agricultural products, soybeans, corn, and wheat to beef, pork, poultry, and automobiles.

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Trump outraged Canadian, Mexican and European leaders last month by imposing punishing tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum to protect U.S. producers from allegedly unfair competition.

Trump called the tariffs "essential to preventing further unfair transfers of American technology and intellectual property to China, which will protect American jobs".

"Trade between our nations, however, has been very unfair, for a very long time", Trump said Friday.

"We deeply regret that the United States has disregarded the consensus formed. and provoked a trade war".

ME lobster was worth more than $430 million at the docks a year ago, and the industry is a critical piece of the state's economy, history and heritage. The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal were among the publications reporting overnight that Trump, fresh from his return from the Singapore Summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, has made a decision to enact significant tariffs on Chinese goods.

America's trade in goods with China topped $635 billion in 2017, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Meanwhile, Chinese companies use government money to buy USA businesses.

"President Trump is fixated with tariffs, which he believes he can wield freely; but there are grave consequences to the use of tariffs", said AAFA president Rick Helfenbein.

Those restrictions are aimed at stopping China from developing its own hi-tech industry with technologies acquired from the U.S. - one of Washington's long-standing complaints. But U.S. industries that have held their own in the global economy also stand to take a hit. And those higher tariffs could discourage foreign consumers from buying USA products, exacerbating the trade deficit. Those tariffs were introduced under Section 232 of the U.S. Trade Expansion Act.

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