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President Donald Trump escalated the US-China trade war last week, bumping up the tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods from 10% to 25%. Now China has retaliated, with $60 billion worth of tariffs on 5,140 US products from 1st June.

Import duties on Chinese goods had originally been due to rise on 1st March, but the tariffs were delayed due to ongoing trade talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Trump has claimed unfair trade practises by China, adversely affecting US businesses, as the reason for the tariffs.

“Their [sic] is no reason for the U.S. Consumer to pay the Tariffs, which take effect on China today,” Trump tweeted earlier, suggesting that tariffs on Chinese goods can be circumvented by buying from other countries.

“Many Tariffed companies will be leaving China for Vietnam and other such countries in Asia. That’s why China wants to make a deal so badly! There will be nobody left in China to do business with.” He warned China not to retaliate or the tariffs “will only get worse!”

However, the Chinese government accused the US of an “escalation of Sino-US economic and trade frictions, contrary to the consensus between China and the United States on resolving differences through consultations, jeopardising the interests of both sides and not meeting the general expectations of the international community.”

In addition to the tariffs, China is considering reducing purchases of Boeing planes.

Trump has also taken an antagonistic position towards the EU, Canada and Mexico with regards to trade.

Source: The Guardian

Header image: M. B. M.

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