Sorry Donald, no one is going to 'win' your trade war

A US flag is seen during a welcoming ceremony in Beijing China

Alas, the tariffs going into effect Friday will probably punish us and our allies more than they'll hurt China.

Some central IL farmers said they are wary about making any big investments in the near future after fears of a trade war with China became reality Friday, with President Donald Trump imposing 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion worth of goods from that country.

Industry lobbying efforts appear to have failed to convince the Trump administration to put off Friday's 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion worth of mostly tech and manufacturing goods from China.

The president said USA tariffs on an additional $16 billion in Chinese goods are set to take effect in two weeks.

"We're getting tariffed to death", said Scott Ditter, a dairy farmer in Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin, referring to Canada's 270 percent duty on American milk.

Trump has chosen to wage a trade war without fully understanding the nature of global trade.

The trade war will between Washington and Beijing will be hard for the U.S.to sustain as many tariff targets are produced by joint ventures in China, predicts one of China's leading economists.

"There should be no doubting Beijing's resolve", the China Daily said.

On the streets of Beijing, there were some concerns that prices would rise due to the tariffs but also a determination to support the Beijing authorities in the trade war.

In the past, the USA used its clout to win trade skirmishes with developing countries, said James Boughton, a senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation in Waterloo, Ontario.

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MSCI's measure of world equities markets rose 0.4% to the highest level in a week while Asian stocks climbed almost half a percent, led by a rebound in Chinese shares. Trump has threatened to hit back with vehicle tariffs of 20%, which would be highly damaging for the German auto industry. Asian equities wobbled but also managed to end up.

Beijing filed its second complaint with the World Trade Organization and is retaliating with tariffs of their own on USA products like soybeans, electric cars and pork. The negative impact on China's gross domestic product growth - and Chinese consumer prices - is also expected to be minimal. The products, all sold on Chinese e-commerce platforms, ranged from pet food to mixed nuts and whiskey. But it's clear our unilateralism and contempt for worldwide trade rules have given China an opening that should never have existed in the first place, especially since Europe has virtually the same complaints about Chinese trade practices that we do.

China's exports to the United States increased by 5.4 percent in the first half, 13.9 percentage points slower than the same period previous year, customs data showed. China's tariffs similarly totals to $34 billion.

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"So we have 50 plus 200 plus nearly 300", Trump, who is keen to reduce the huge USA trade deficit with China, told reporters aboard Air Force One en route to a rally in Montana.

Mr Trump said: "You have another 16 [billion dollars] in two weeks, and then, as you know, we have $200bn in abeyance and then after the $200bn, we have $300bn in abeyance. OK?"

"We are in a trade war", he said.

So what can data tell us about the current trade conflict?

"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".

Friday's tariffs could just be the opening skirmishes in the war, as Trump has vowed to hit as much as $450 billion in Chinese goods, the vast majority of imports.

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