China hits back after U.S. imposes tariffs worth $34bn

U.S. cargo ship carrying soybeans in race to beat China's retaliatory tariffs

China has imposed tariffs of 25 percent on hundreds of American products in retaliation for United States duties on Chinese goods.

Asian markets appear to have taken in stride the US move to raise tariffs on billions of dollars of Chinese products.

Some Chinese ports had delayed clearing goods from the United States, four sources said on Friday.

Noting reports that the U.S. could add a tax on essentially every product shipped from China, Gao said that using the tariff stick to bully on trade runs against the trend of the times.

Ford Motor Co said on Thursday that for now, it will not hike prices of imported Ford and higher-margin luxury Lincoln models in China.

A levy of 25% on imports from China, with food manufacturing equipment included on the list, now comes into being, with Trump vowing the tariff bundle could rise to $50bn within weeks and reach a final tally of more than $500bn if the leaders of the world's two-largest economies fail to reach a compromise.

President Donald Trump is fighting trade battles in all directions, not just with China.

President Donald Trump's trade battle with China will exacerbate relations with Beijing that are already fraying on several fronts as the USA takes a more confrontational stance and an increasingly powerful China stands its ground. The Chinese tariffs that kick off July 6 cover about $30 billion in USA exports, mostly agriculture and automobiles.

Rabobank reckons China may have to buy up to 15 million tonnes of US beans at tariff prices.

The negotiations began in August but have stalled over USA demands created to discourage investment in Mexico and to shift auto production back to the United States.

"A trade war benefits no-one because it hurts free trade and the multilateral process", China's prime minister Li Keqiang said on a visit to Sofia. Trump said it was to protect USA security interests.

"Unfortunately we are the direct victims of trade retaliation", Kent Bacus, director of worldwide trade and market access for National Cattlemen's Beef Association, said in the Beltway Beef podcast on Thursday.

U.S. pork was already saddled with duties enacted in an earlier round of the trade row and now faces an extra 25 percent tariff that would raise the total charges up to 62 percent.

But newly released minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve's last policy meeting on June 12-13 showed policymakers discussed whether recession lurked around the corner, and expressed concerns global trade tensions could hit an economy that by most measures looked strong. But the Chinese commerce ministry did not spell out the details of its actions.

Stocks edged higher in Europe, with the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index closing 0.2 percent higher.

US crude rose 1.22 percent to $73.83 per barrel and Brent was last at $77.07, down 0.41 percent on the day.

The United States' imposition of additional tariffs on Chinese products blatantly violates World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, and will damage global trade order, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Friday.

The United States and China slapped tit-for-tat duties on $34 billion worth of the other's imports on Friday, with Beijing accusing Washington of triggering the "largest-scale trade war" ever in a sharp escalation of their months-long conflict.

A ministry statement said, "the Chinese side promised not to fire the first shot, but to defend the core interests of the country and people, it is forced to make a necessary counterattack". It opened markets for USA farmers but led some American automakers to shift production to low-wage Mexico and to then ship cars back to the United States duty-free.

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