Trade war heats up as US-China tariffs take effect


This is typical ‘trade bullying’, Chinese ministry said on its website

US tariffs on $34bn in Chinese imports have come into effect today, and with Beijing having vowed to respond immediately in kind, a trade war has been triggered between the world’s two largest economies.

China’s commerce ministry confirmed that the latest tariffs had come into effect and added it was forced to retaliate, meaning $34bn worth of imported US goods including autos and agricultural products also faced 25 per cent tariffs.

“China promised to not fire the first shot, but to defend national core interests and the interests of the people it has no choice but to strike back as necessary,” the Commerce Ministry said in a statement, shortly after the deadline passed.

“This act is typical trade bullying,” the ministry further said on its website, adding: “It seriously jeopardises the global industrial chain . . . hinders the pace of global economic recovery, triggers global market turmoil and will affect more innocent multinational companies, general companies and consumers.”

Trump reiterated plans for a further $16bn in trade to be targeted in the coming weeks.