China announced additional tariffs on 106 U.S. products on Wednesday, in a move likely to heighten global concerns of a tit-for-tat trade war between the world’s biggest economies. The effective start date for the new charges was not announced, though China’s Ministry of Commerce said the tariffs are designed to target up to $50 billion of U.S. products annually.
The 25 percent levy on U.S. imports includes products such as soybeans, cars and whiskey, Beijing said. The move comes less than 24 hours after President Donald Trump unveiled a list of Chinese imports that he aims to target as part of a crackdown on what he deems as unfair trade practices.
Sectors covered by Trump’s proposed tariffs include products used for robotics, information technology, communication technology and aerospace. The trade showdown between Washington and Beijing has rattled investors and fueled market fears that the dispute could soon spiral into a full-blown trade war.
The speed with which the trade struggle between Washington and Beijing is ratcheting up – China took less than 11 hours to respond with its own measures – led to a sharp selloff in global stock markets and commodities. President Donald Trump denied that the tit-for-tat moves amounted to a trade war between the world’s two economic superpowers.
U.S.-made goods that appear to face added tariffs in China based, on an analysis of Beijing’s list, include Tesla electric cars, Ford’s Lincoln auto models, Gulfstream jets made by General Dynamics and Brown-Forman Corp’s Jack Daniel’s whiskey.
Unlike Washington’s list, which was filled with many obscure industrial items, China’s list strikes at signature U.S. exports, including soybeans, frozen beef, cotton and other key agricultural commodities produced in states from Iowa to Texas that voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election.
We are not in a trade war with China, that war was lost many years ago by the foolish, or incompetent, people who represented the U.S. Now we have a Trade Deficit of $500 Billion a year, with Intellectual Property Theft of another $300 Billion. We cannot let this continue!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 4, 2018