Imports from the U.S. are seen at a supermarket in Shanghai, China.
China hit back quickly on Wednesday against the Trump administration’s plans to impose tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods, retaliating with a list of similar duties on key U.S. imports including soybeans, planes, cars, beef and chemicals.
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. [MKTS/GLOB]
U.S. President Donald Trump, who has long charged that his predecessors served the United States badly in trade matters, rejected the notion that the tit-for-tat moves amounted to a trade war between the world’s two economic superpowers.
“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.,” Trump wrote in a post on Twitter early on Wednesday.
Because the actions will not be carried out immediately, there may be room for manoeuvre. Publication of Washington’s list starts a period of public comment and consultation expected to last around two months. The effective date of China’s moves depends on when the U.S. action takes effect.
U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in an interview with CNBC that it would not be surprising if the U.S. and China trade actions led to negotiations, although he would not speculate on when this might happen.