What are trade tariffs and who will they affect?

Soybean plants grow in a field near Tiskilwa Illinois

Soybean plants grow in a field near Tiskilwa Illinois

China's commerce ministry earlier Friday accused the USA of launching the "largest trade war in economic history", saying it could trigger "global market turmoil". They kicked in just after midnight ET, which is noon in Beijing.

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

A record volume of USA crude oil is heading to China even as Beijing's planned tariffs threaten to cut off a relatively new and burgeoning business for US exporters.

Beijing insists it's the injured party.

"To put it simply, the United States is opening fire on the entire world, including itself", China's Commerce Ministry spokesperson Gao Feng said in Beijing.

While Chinese state media have slammed Trump's trade policies and on Friday likened his administration to a "gang of hoodlums", the simmering conflict has gained little traction on China's tightly controlled social media, not cracking the 50 top-searched topics on the Twitter-like Weibo platform.

As of 12:01 eastern this morning, computers at USA customs should have been reconfigured to apply new tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods, which include printers, cars and industrial parts. The tit-for-tat trade spat between the two countries has recently escalated amid fears that the situation may get out of control.

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"There are no winners in a trade war", said William Zarit, chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China.

And Beijing's tactics may go beyond tariffs to include arbitrary quarantines and a costly uptick in customs inspections.

Soybeans are on the hit list of American goods now being targeted by Chinese tariffs that went into effect Friday after the US implemented a raft of duties earlier in the day and President Donald Trump threatened more action.

"Its unruliness looks set to have a profoundly damaging impact on the global economic landscape in the coming decades, unless countries stand together to oppose it". "These tariffs could mean the difference between a profit and a loss for an entire year's worth of work out in the field, and that's only in the near term", Bible said.

Russian Federation says United States tariffs on steel and aluminium, introduced in March, will cost its companies more than half a billion dollars.

He described the potential escalation to reporters aboard Air Force One: "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?"

That amount is higher than an earlier threat from Trump to target as much as $450 billion of Chinese exports.

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What are the US tariffs?

The tariffs were going to target products used for robotics, information technology, communication technology and aerospace, Trump said.

Opening shots were fired at 12.01am this morning as Washington stuck to its deadline and began imposing tariffs on $34bn of Chinese goods. The U.S. has imposed 25 per cent duties on $34 billion USA in Chinese products. Trump has added to the tension by threatening new tariffs on cars.

An official at a company in Shanghai that handles customs clearance for importers said to Reuters that the port of Shanghai is said to have put on hold clearing some U.S. imports through customs.

The US was already undermining the WTO's trade disputes process by stalling on the appointment of new judges, he said.

In addition to Friday's tariffs and in response to China's retaliation in June, Mr Trump has ordered tariffs on $200bn worth of imports and threatened tariffs on another $200bn.

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