A trade war between the U.S. and China, the world’s largest economies, is underway officially. President Donald Trump‘s administration imposed tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese products on Friday.

On Thursday, Trump told reporters aboard the Air Force One that the first wave of that tariffs would quickly be followed by levies on another $16 billion of Chinese goods. Trump has continued to threaten Beijing with escalating tariffs on as much as $450 billion worth of Chinese goods. Initial U.S. tariffs target auto parts, electronic components, jet engine parts, compressors and other machinery.

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The steep tariffs have been accompanied by hostile rhetoric. The Chinese Ministry of Commerce has issued a statement calling the U.S. move “typical trade bullying” and held that “in order to defend the core interests of the country and the interests of the people, we are forced to retaliate,” according to The Washington Post.


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China’s Ministry of Commerce said the U.S. “has launched the biggest trade war in economic history so far.” Beijing’s retaliation will follow promptly. China said it will immediately put on his own similarly sized tariffs on an unspecified clutch of American goods.

The retaliatory tariffs from China will fall especially hard affecting more than 25% of a county’s economy—in nearly 20% of the counties that voted for President Donald Trump in 2016, affecting eight million people mostly in agricultural, manufacturing and technology sectors, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Association of Equipment Manufacturers President Dennis Slater warned that the back and forth between China and the United States would damage American manufacturing and lead to job losses. According to The Hill, Slater said, “These tariffs target the vital parts and components used in equipment manufacturing throughout the U.S. . . . They also will drive up the cost of manufacturing in the U.S. and risk many of the 1.3 million good-paying manufacturing jobs our industry supports.”

“China is engaged in industrial policies and theft of intellectual property that merits a response, but across the business community we feel that tariffs are not the answer,” John Murphy, senior vice president for international policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, told CNBC. “We think trade works for the American economy and tariffs don’t.”

The question is what impact and how long this trade dispute will last. “The trade war ends when things collapse on Trump and the U.S. has to reposition” its strategy toward China, said Rufus Yerxa, a trade negotiator in Republican and Democratic administrations who now heads the free-trade National Foreign Trade Council, to The Wall street Journal. “We don’t know when that will be.”

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