Yesterday, Beijing officially responded to the Trump administration’s tougher line on trade, imposing additional duties of between 15 and 25 percent on 128 US exports, including wine, pork, and nuts (nuts!).
The move affects just $3 billion out of a total of $170 billion in annual US exports to China. In other words, peanuts, which incidentally, were not affected. And China framed the move only as a narrow response to the Trump administration’s recent steel and aluminum tariffs.
But Trump is readying a much bigger blow to China — proposed tariffs on some $60 billion worth of Chinese tech goods as part of a bid to punish China for years of stealing US firms’ intellectual property. That would be a significant escalation in what, so far, is more of a trade spat than a trade war. But the drums are beating louder on both sides.