Who is Going to Win the Trade War?

For months it was a case of shadow boxing, but now the gloves are off. Washington and Bejing launched punitive import taxes on each others goods worth billions of dollars. While initial US tariffs on China, covering 818 products amount to $34bn, a second round covering 284 more products will total $16bn. The goods on the list will include boats, aircraft engines, semiconductors, and a long list of other industrial and agricultural machines. China has also imposed tariffs worth a similar amount on US imports, including soya beans, cotton, corn tobacco and cars - all produced in states that voted for Trump. If this were only a dispute between the world's two largest economies, that would be bad enough, but it goes further and runs deeper than that. All of this is happening in defiance of the World Trade Organisation, which the US president has denounced on several occasions.

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