Trade war threats get real as US and China impose tariffs

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Donald Trump has turned his threats of a trade war into reality. (Photo: AP)

 

US President Donald Trump fired the biggest shot yet in the global trade war by imposing tariffs on $US34 billion ($46 billion) of Chinese imports. China immediately said it would be forced to retaliate.

The duties on Chinese goods started at 12:01 am Friday in Washington (2:01 pm AEST), which was just after midday in China. Another $US16 billion of goods could follow in two weeks, Trump earlier told reporters, before suggesting the final total could eventually reach $US550 billion, a figure that exceeds all of US goods imports from China in 2017.

US customs officials will begin collecting an additional 25 per cent tariff on imports from China of goods ranging from farming plows to semiconductors and airplane parts. China’s officials have previously said they would respond by imposing higher levies on goods ranging from American soybeans to pork, which may in turn prompt Trump to raise trade barriers even higher.

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China targets American technology in drive to become innovation leader

Photo by: Mark Schiefelbein Robotic military technology was displayed at an exhibition highlighting China’s achievements under five years of leadership by President Xi Jinping. The exhibition at the Beijing Exhibition Hall opened in September ahead of a Communist Party congress this month. (Associated Press/File)

 

China has stepped up efforts to work with American businesses in a bid to acquire advanced technology, part of a drive to become a leading technology-innovation power.

“China is pushing to further deepen technology collaboration with U.S. business and academic institutions as part of a national effort to transform its economy, including by putting China at the leading edge of global technological innovation,” said a U.S. intelligence official who provided a recent assessment of China.

“At the same time, Beijing is trying to downplay concerns that this state-led technology acquisition drive creates an unlevel playing field, forces technology transfers to China, limits foreign companies’ access to the Chinese market and is a threat to U.S. and other companies economic strengths,” the official added. Continue reading