U.S., China fire first shots in tariff war

39;Promises made promises kept': Mr Trump has vowed to clamp down on 'unfair' trade deals

Hours before Washington's deadline for the tariffs to take effect, US President Donald Trump upped the ante, warning that the United States may ultimately target over $500 billion worth of Chinese goods, or roughly the total amount of US imports from China previous year.

Beijing insists it's the injured party. And where prices don't rise, they may actually collapse when the production that was meant for export ends up getting dumped in the domestic economy instead.

It further claims that China's industrial policies, such as its "Made in China 2025" plan, harm companies in the United States and around the world.

Judging by the retaliatory tariffs targeted at the range of United States agricultural goods so far, China also seemed to be avoiding an escalation in trade tensions, analysts said.

Reprising the tactic he used against steel and aluminum imports, Trump in May ordered the Commerce Department to investigate whether imported vehicles and auto parts pose a threat to USA national security that justifies tariffs.

China's tariff list is heavy on agricultural goods such as soybeans, sorghum and cotton, threatening USA farmers in states that backed Trump in the 2016 U.S. election, such as Texas and Iowa.

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 does not yield to US demands and continues to retaliate.

The statement reiterated that China "will unswervingly deepen reform, expand opening up, protect entrepreneurship, strengthen property rights protection, and create a good business environment for global companies in China " - an apparent response to the Trump administration's complaints. "Soybean demand is there, and it's really, really big as soybeans go into different channels". Now, he's anxious that the trade dispute between the USA and China could hurt his and other producers' bottom line.

Trump also said the United States is ready to target an additional $200bn in Chinese imports - and then $300bn more - if Beijing does not yield to USA demands and continues to retaliate. Those threats were followed by promises from both nations to tax even more imports. And this year, we have had a lot of great opportunities to hedge and sell soybeans at a good price.

The United States has run a trade in goods deficit with China for years, including a $375 billion deficit in 2017 alone. "There should be no doubting Beijing's resolve", the newspaper said.

"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 threatened to hit back with vehicle tariffs of 20%, which would be highly damaging for the German auto industry.

Kennedy say he thinks the Trump administration's enthusiasm for the conflict "will erode as the economic pain and political fallout from a trade war begin to take hold".

"We urge the two governments to come back to the negotiation table", said Zarit.

"It's still hard for me to believe the Trump administration could develop and negotiate an overarching package with China that genuinely sticks", Kennedy said. "And so I'd expect the two sides to pursue some sort of face-saving deal that looks good on paper but is not enduring".

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