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China Opens Fire On Roughly $50 Billion In US Exports As Trade Spat Heats Up

REUTERS/Hyungwon Kang

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Ryan Pickrell China/Asia Pacific Reporter
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China announced tariffs on more than 100 key U.S. exports Wednesday in an escalating trade feud that began last month.

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce is imposing a 25 percent tariff on 106 American products to an expected tune of roughly $50 billion annually, according to CNBC. Beijing, which has yet to set a date for the implementation of these tariffs, is reportedly targeting a variety of products including soybeans, whiskey, airplanes, and cars.

The latest move follows President Donald Trump’s announcement that the U.S. intends to impose tariffs on roughly $50 billion in annual Chinese exports to the U.S. in response to alleged Chinese intellectual property theft and forced technology transfer. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative published a list of around 1,300 Chinese products expected to be subject to the new tariffs.

Trump’s proposed trade penalties target Beijing’s ambitious Made in China 2025 strategy, a state plan to facilitate Chinese dominance in 10 strategic emerging industries, as well as other Chinese products. The U.S. is taking aim at Chinese aerospace technology, pharmaceutical products, machine tools, and a number of other goods.

China has already retaliated against the president’s steel and aluminum tariffs with tariffs on around $3 billion in U.S. exports to China. Beijing has repeatedly stated that it will hit back in a trade war, stressing that China’s response will be of the same scale and intensity.

“As the Chinese saying goes, it is only polite to reciprocate,” the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C., said in a statement, adding that this trade dispute “serves neither China’s interest nor U.S. interest, even less the interest of the global economy.”

Trump stressed Wednesday that the U.S. and China are not in a trade war, but explained that the current situation in which the U.S. has a massive trade deficit while losing hundreds of billions of dollars to intellectual property theft cannot continue.

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