Global trade: U.S.-China trade war heats up
The trade spat between China and the U.S. escalated dramatically this week, as tit-for-tat tariffs tanked global markets and threatened to raise prices for American consumers, said Lingling Wei and Yoko Kubota in The Wall Street Journal. Hours after the Trump administration announced a 25 percent tariff on about $50 billion worth of imported Chinese goods, including flat-screen TVs, medical devices, and aircraft parts, China hit back, announcing its own tariffs on $50 billion worth of “high-profile” U.S. products, including soybeans, cars, and some airplanes. “Neither the U.S. nor Chinese tariffs take effect immediately,” but global markets sank on fears of an all-out trade war.
The trade dispute with China “is already shaking up U.S. politics,” said Michael Scherer in The Washington Post. Beijing this week formally imposed $3 billion in tariffs on American pork, almonds, aluminum pipes, and other goods, in a response to the earlier tariffs President Trump slapped on foreign steel and aluminum. Many of the products targeted by the tariffs are produced in rural and industrial areas that voted for Trump. The tariffs’ threat to local economies in places such as Iowa, California’s Central Valley, and parts of Washington state could put Republican House seats “in jeopardy” come November. ■