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China announced it will retaliate against Trump’s new tariffs

Chinese officials said the new tariffs would target states with a lot of Trump supporters.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping
Chinese leader Xi Jinping.
Getty Images
Madeleine Ngo covers economic policy for Vox. She previously worked at the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and the Philadelphia Inquirer.

President Donald Trump announced yesterday that he would impose $50 billion in tariffs on Chinese imports. Now China has swiftly retaliated with promises to impose tariffs on US goods of the “same scale and the same strength.”

The US and China have been on the brink of a trade war for months as tensions between the two countries continue to rise over what the Trump administration characterizes as China’s “unfair” trade tactics. The administration claims, among other things, that China forces foreign companies to spill American technology secrets in order to do business in their country.

The administration announced on Friday that about $34 billion worth of Chinese goods will be subject to tariffs starting July 6. An additional $16 billion worth of products will be subject to further review and public hearings.

China has said it would purposely enact tariffs that will affect American farmers and industrial workers in the Midwest — states that have large populations of Republican Trump supporters.

The two countries were reportedly attempting to make amends in the past few weeks with discussions about a deal involving the additional purchase of up to $70 billion in American goods. But Chinese officials now say the compromise is “invalid.”

While it’s still unknown which Chinese products will be hit with an import tax, it will likely include the list of 1,300 goods the Trump administration released in April with some modifications.

And just last month, Trump imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico, and the European Union; the move quickly created tensions and prompted retaliation from the US allies.

Many US business leaders are worried about the potential negative impact of Trump’s tariffs. Tom Donohue, president and chief executive of the US Chamber of Commerce, told the Washington Post on Friday that “Imposing tariffs places the cost of China’s unfair trade practices squarely on the shoulders of American consumers, manufacturers, farmers and ranchers. This is not the right approach.”

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