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US-China Trade War Escalates After Trump Threat of More Tariffs


FILE - Women push a shopping cart near items imported from the United States at a supermarket in Beijing, April 2, 2018.

The trade war rhetoric between the United States and China escalated Friday with President Donald threatening tariffs on an additional $100 billion worth of Chinese goods and Beijing warning it will fight the United States "at any cost."

Trump said Thursday he had instructed the U.S. trade representative to consider the additional tariffs after China issued a list of U.S. goods, including soybeans and small aircraft, worth $50 billion for possible tariff hikes. The United States had proposed tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods earlier this week.

The president's latest threats notwithstanding, he has insisted the U.S. is not engaged in a trade dispute with the east Asian nation, and said Friday on Twitter his tariffs on aluminum imports already are benefiting the U.S. economy.

"Despite the Aluminum Tariffs, Aluminum prices are DOWN 4%. People are surprised, I’m not! Lots of money coming into U.S. coffers and Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!"

The White House said in a statement Friday the tariffs were announced against China because the country "continues to distort global markets and harm U.S. businesses and consumers with unfair trade practices." The statement cited China's "Made in China 2025" policy initiative, whose goal is "taking away domestic and international market share from foreigners."

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China’s commerce ministry said in its statement Friday that if Washington persisted in what Beijing describes as protectionism, China would “dedicate itself to the end and at any cost and will definitely fight back firmly.”

The White House said in its statement that China's approach to the issue is misguided. "Instead of addressing its misconduct, China has retaliated against American farmers and manufacturers."

Since the start of this week, the United States and China have been engaging in a tit-for-tat trade spat. On Monday, in response to earlier tariffs on steel and aluminum imposed by the Trump administration, China started tariffs of up to 25 percent on 128 U.S. products, including fruits, nuts, pork, wine, steel and aluminum.

Later on the same day, the USTR proposed to increase tariffs on 1,300 imported goods from China, mostly aerospace, medical and information technology products.

Less than 12 hours later, China announced it plans to impose retaliatory duties of 25 percent on 106 politically sensitive American goods, including soybeans, automobiles and aircraft.

Some information for this report came from Reuters and the Associated Press.

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