China blames U.S. for ‘largest-scale trade war’ as tariffs kick in

'We can probably say that the trade war has officially started'

Image Credits: Chris Potter.

The United States and China slapped tit-for-tat duties on $34 billion worth of each other’s imports on Friday, with Beijing accusing Washington of triggering the “largest-scale trade war” as the world’s two biggest economies sharply escalated their conflict.

Hours before Washington’s deadline for the tariffs to take effect, U.S. 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 U.S. imports from China last year.

China’s commerce ministry, in a statement shortly after the U.S. deadline passed at 0401 GMT on Friday, said that it was forced to retaliate, meaning imported U.S. goods including cars, soybeans, and lobsters also faced 25 percent tariffs.

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