The United States imposed its first tariffs on $ 34 billion of Chinese goods on Friday, officially launching a trade war between the two largest economies in the world. Moments later, China fired back, accusing the United States of violating World Trade Organization rules and triggering "the largest trade war in economic history to date".
"To defend the core interests of the country and the interests of the country people, we are forced to take revenge," said the Chinese Ministry of Commerce in a statement.
Although the Chinese statement did not outline any targets, Beijing has pledged to slap duties on an equal amount of US goods, including staples such as corn, pork, and poultry staples ̵
In the short term, the analysts say, the moves could disrupt markets and hinder trade in both countries
"For industries that are directly affected by tariffs, the impact will be immediate and large," said Yanmei Xie, A China Political Analyst at Gavekal Dragonomics, an economic research firm in Beijing 9002] Meanwhile, Russia said it had imposed US products on steel and aluminum tariffs in response to Trump's tariffs imposed on China in March. According to Maxim Oreshkin, the Russian Minister of Economic Development, import duties amounting to 25 to 40 percent are levied on various industrial goods in the US, including those in the construction and energy sectors.
The retaliation announced on Friday sees compensation of nearly $ 88 million, far less than the nearly $ 538 million that cost Trump's tariffs to Russian companies, Oreshkin said. Russia has also joined the European Union, China, India and Canada by complaining to the WTO about US action.
Nevertheless, Russia is not a top trading partner for the United States. Total trade between countries last year was about $ 24 billion, which is roughly equivalent to what the United States and China exchange every two weeks.
The risk of escalation – particularly Trump's $ 500 billion threat to China – has alarmed analysts. "The countdown is on what Trump will do next," Xie said.
Chinese analysts said the first round was tough but manageable and ahead of others.
"The influence of the first round is not so great, but the key is whether there will be more – a second round of revenge and Retribution and a third round, "said Shi Yinhong, a professor of international relations at Renmin University in Beijing
Despite frustration over Chinese trade practices, US companies have been warning for months that Trump's trade threats could do more harm than good.
"There are no winners in a trade war," William Zarit, chairman of the US Chamber of Commerce said in a statement released shortly before the US tariff came into force, China said.
"While our 900 member companies continue to suffer from the same conditions in China, they are still extremely clear: increased tensions in US-China economic relations will have a negative impact on their business in China," he said.
Some US companies tried to come to China before the tariff, which was Friday at 12:01 Eastern Time.
The Internet watched a cargo ship carrying a cargo of soybeans to Dalian Harbor in Liaoning Province. According to Bloomberg ship data, Peak Pegasus should reach its destination one hour after China is expected to levy a 25 percent tax on its goods.
Half an hour before the Beijing deadline, the ship passed South Korea's Jeju (19659002) Some said that Beijing's tactics could go beyond tariffs to include arbitrary quarantines and a costly increase in customs controls.
Shaun Rein, Managing Director of the China Market Research Group in Shanghai, The next Chinese government's game could be to fuel anti-American sentiment among consumers – much like the boycotts it had ruled last year in the South Korean Lotte Group and concealed dozens of convenience stores in the company.
"If I were Starbucks or Apple," he said, "I would be scared now."
For years, Trump has vowed to fight Chinese commercial practices by accusing Beijing of stealing US intellectual property and 375 Billions of dollars to pop US trade deficit with the country.
He argues that China should buy more American goods, and blamed Beijing trade for losing American jobs throughout the grate belt. (Economists say globalization and increasing automation have shrunk the kind of manufacturing operations that American companies have shipped overseas in recent years.)
At a rally Thursday in Montana, Trump once again said that China trades us "kills"
However, Chinese officials are projecting confidence, claiming that the Asian nation is better equipped to withstand the turmoil.
"Our commodity market and labor market are relatively flexible and the ability of our overseas sectors flexible adjustment is more important," said Guo Shuqing, chairman of the China Banking and Insurance Supervisory Authority, in an interview with China's Financial News newspaper Thursday.
The Chinese side sees Trump's threats as an attempt to restrain its economic growth – and has vowed to align itself with them.
"Whether it's through trade war or other means, the ultimate goal is to make China subservient to the United States," said He Weiwen, vice president of the Center for China and Globalization in Beijing. "That's impossible, China will not accept that," he said, adding, "what happens next depends on the United States, and China will be ready to follow suit."
The Washington Post Luna Lin, Amber Ziye Wang and Yang Liu in Beijing have contributed to this report.