Trump's Trade War Officially Begins - Hit & Run

China EU USA trade war alliance Donald Trump President Xi

GETTYAny move to lower the punitive tariffs would be warmly welcomed by Mr Trump

Although the Chinese statement did not outline targets, Beijing has promised to slap levies on an equal amount of American goods, including heartland staples like soybeans, corn, pork and poultry - a move President Donald Trump said would compel the hit China with levies on up to $500 billion in products.

China is expected to retaliate as soon as the United States tariffs go into effect, imposing duties on goods worth roughly the same amount but with a greater emphasis on politically sensitive agricultural products. They kicked in just after midnight ET, which is noon in Beijing.

Reuters news agency reported that as of Friday morning, when tariffs took effect, some major Chinese ports had delayed clearing goods from the US.

Consumer Technology Association: "While President Trump says his trade policy is meant to punish China, the numbers show that, in reality, US businesses, workers and consumers will pay the price under this policy", said Sage Chandler, the group's vice president for global trade.

Beijing insists it's the injured party.

China accused Trump of using tariffs as "typical trade bullying". "Of the original $50 billion in tariffs on China, items including lithium batteries, navigation devices, disk drives and circuit board components will be affected - hitting $15.2 billion worth of Chinese imports".

In response, the world's second-largest economy warned it would take the "necessary countermeasures", triggering what is now a full-blown trade conflict. Fall is the biggest season for American soybean farmers. He told CNBC that there may be no way to escape a trade war with China.

The big question is how far the hostilities between Washington and Beijing will go.

News of the hold-ups came as Washington imposed tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese imports from 0401 GMT on Friday. Beijing said it had no choice but to respond in kind, but was yet to outline the full extent of any retaliatory measures.

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"Thirty-four, and then you have another 16 in two weeks and then, as you know, we have 200 billion in abeyance and then after the 200 billion we have 300 billion in abeyance. OK?" "So we have 50 plus 200 plus nearly 300", he said.

"More than 70,000 jobs depend on the Port of Oakland".

That would bring the total of targeted Chinese goods to potentially $550bn - more than the $506bn in goods that China shipped to the U.S. previous year. These measures will be taken due to the fact that "China has consistently taken advantage of the American economy with practices that undermine fair and reciprocal trade".

Despite three rounds of negotiations between the two sides, including a Chinese pledge to significantly increase purchases of American products, Trump chose to go ahead with the tariffs.

The influential US Chamber of Commerce urged Trump this week to reconsider his actions, saying the counter-tariffs now affected $75 billion in American exports and endangered US jobs. Trump has added to the tension by threatening new tariffs on cars. "It's very hard to see this happening in the current environment".

The Trump administration contends that China has deployed predatory tactics in a push to overtake U.S. technological dominance.

Why Soybeans Are at the Heart of the U.S.

"This continued escalation poses a serious threat to growth and recovery in all countries, and we are beginning to see this reflected in some forward-looking indicators", WTO Director General Roberto Azevedo said in a statement.

International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde has already sounded the alarm about the cycle of retaliation, saying it would only create "losers on both sides".

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