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Trump Starts Trade War for the Hell of It

The Trump White House said it would move ahead with imposing tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese products, after previously declaring that the trade war was “on hold.”

The U.S. tariffs will fall on 1,102 categories of Chinese goods, focusing on industrial sectors like aerospace, automobiles, industrial machinery, information technology and robotics, the administration said. Goods commonly purchased by American consumers, like mobile phones and televisions, won’t be taxed.

Tariffs on roughly $34 billion of Chinese products will go into effect on July 6 with another set of tariffs on roughly $16 billion of products undergoing further review, including public hearings.

China will respond with its own tariffs, which are likely to include targeted agricultural products and manufactured goods.  The prospect of a trade war between the two economies has sparked concern from businesses, investors, consumer groups, and economists who say the levies will both drive up prices for American consumers purchasing products at retail stores and for businesses that depend on China for parts used to make other goods in the United States.

Tensions could escalate further in the coming weeks. The White House is formulating a plan for restricting Chinese investments in the United States and putting stricter limitations on the types of advanced technology that can be exported to the country. It has said those restrictions will go into effect shortly after they are announced by June 30.

For more: NY Times

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