U.S. businesses, farmers decry tariff bullies in Washington

US shooting itself in the foot with economic blackmail against China’ – Beijing

Early Friday the USA followed through on President Trump's threats by imposing tariffs of 25% on $34 billion of Chinese imports, and Beijing retaliated on an equal value of US goods.

President Donald Trump argues that new tariffs on Chinese goods are created to protect USA businesses and force China to change its economic policy.

The duties on Chinese goods will go forward just after midnight, Trump told reporters on Air Force One on his way to Montana on Thursday.

Trump's comments appeared to increase the stakes for potential retaliation by China.

Beijing had earlier released a target list of $34bn worth of imported USA goods including autos and agricultural products also faced 25 percent tariffs.

Chinese exporters of tools, lighting and appliances say US orders have shrunk as customers wait to see what will happen to prices.

China accused the United States of launching the "largest trade war in economic history", saying it was "typical trade bullying" that could trigger "global market turmoil". "We've generally seen freer and freer trade since World War II, and now we seem to be reversing that", David Dollar, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington and a former U.S. Treasury attache in Beijing, said in a Bloomberg Television interview on Thursday.

It's also possible that Europe could become ensnared in the U.S.

After that, the hostilities could intensify: Trump said the U.S.is ready to target an additional $200 billion in Chinese imports - and then $300 billion more - if Beijing refuses to yield to US demands and continues to retaliate.

The dispute has roiled financial markets including stocks, currencies and the global trade of commodities from soybeans to coal in recent weeks.

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Customs services for the US and China will be responsible for collecting the new tariffs as imports pass through the port of entry.

USA tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese imports took effect as a deadline passed on Friday, and with Beijing having vowed to respond immediately in kind, as the two biggest economies headed on a risky path toward a full-blown trade war. Some analysts such as Singapore-based DBS say the United States economy could suffer more than China's, as U.S. levies could affect American firms with investments in the country and Washington is also involved in other trade conflicts.

Global supply chains are now highly specialized and delicate, and disruption in one part of the production could imply a breakdown in the whole process, Hui said. "To put it simply, the USA is opening fire on the entire world, including itself".

While less than 1% of the goods that will be subject to the tariffs are consumer goods, the list of products they target includes machinery that does everything from cutting metal to measuring electrical currents to incubating chickens. But some products, including thermostats, are lumped into intermediate and capital goods categories. China is raising U.S. soybean tariffs to 28%, up from basically zero percent all the while offering other nations a completely duty-free soybean import tariff rate of 0%.

Chinese buying of soybeans has already ground almost to a halt ahead of the duties.

"Our baseline forecast assumes only a modest further escalation in the trade "war" this summer", Bank of America Merrill Lynch said in a Friday note.

USA manufacturers and business groups have said the tariffs could increase their costs and lead to higher prices for consumers.

"Trade disruption is the greatest threat to global growth", said Dec Mullarkey, managing director of investment strategies at Sun Life Investment Management.

The tariffs set out by Trump target $34 billion of Chinese imports.

"If a country wants to raise tariffs, China will respond to defend itself", he said. Ford said it would "continue to monitor the situation as it evolves". US suppliers rarely make these attachments, so the company must import them.

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