BEIJING – China responded to President Trump's new tariffs by threatening its own tariffs on 106 US products, including soybeans, airplanes and automobiles, in the latest escalation of what is happening the risk of becoming a commercial war of blow by blow between the two largest economies in the world.
The plan, which was announced on Wednesday, would see China apply a 25 percent tax to a range of US goods. UU Worth approximately $ 50 billion. Although China said that time depends on the movements of the United States. UU., The news had an immediate impact on markets, including soy.
The last commercial download from China shook many world markets. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index fell 2.2 percent and South Korea's main exchange fell more than 1 percent. In Europe, all major markets opened lower, signaling another expected drop when Wall Street opens.
Soybeans on the Chicago Board of Trade immediately fell to 4.2 percent, while wheat and corn futures also fell, Bloomberg reported.
The Chinese announcement came a day after the White House unveiled tariff plans on 50 billion dollars in Chinese imports in 1,300 categories, with 25 percent levies on Chinese products, from electronics, aerospace and machinery to telephones , shoes and furniture.
Although a response from Beijing was widely expected, the speed of the announcement came as a surprise, deepening the fears of a quick climb.
At a press conference on Wednesday, the Chinese authorities did little to avoid the "war", but stressed that Beijing is willing to work with the White House.
"If someone wants a trade war, we will fight to the end, if someone wants to talk, our door is open," said Wang Shouwen, vice minister of commerce.
Zhu Guangyao, deputy finance minister, said both sides were "showing their swords and demanding", but they needed to return. to the negotiating table.
Although the dollar amounts noted by both parties are similar – $ 50 billion – the focus on US soybean exports. UU For China, it could have a particularly large impact in the United States.
Soybean is the main agricultural export from the United States to China and soybean farmers from the United States. UU And his allies fought hard to avoid tariffs, something Zhu said at the press conference.
Christopher Balding, an associate professor at HSBC Business School in Shenzhen, said comparing US and Chinese lists showed China's willingness to target products such as soybeans, cars and airplanes that could create political problems for Trump.
"Although the numbers between China and the US are comparable, it seems clear that China is trying to twist the knife," he said, "This is a warning that we're willing to fight more and cause more pain than you are & # 39; "
The goal may be to get US voters. UU stop Trump from doing more. Agricultural states generally backed Trump in the 2016 elections and their exports could be hurt.
"China is encouraging American farmers to put pressure on the White House," said Shen Dingli, deputy dean of the Institute of International Affairs at Fudan University in Shanghai.
The announcement on Wednesday means that there are now two exchanges between the United States and China battles to be played.
At the end of March, EE. UU He announced steel and aluminum tariffs that would penalize China for an amount of around $ 3 billion per year. On Monday, China returned fire by imposing similar measures on pork, fruit and other items worth 3,000 million dollars.
Then, on Tuesday, the White House went ahead with the tariffs that point to manufacturing technology, arguing that Chinese business practices have unfairly hurt American businesses.
Trump has argued that the Chinese government requires US companies to provide patented technology to gain access to the Chinese market, resulting in the theft of trade secrets.
But critics say that the protectionist trade movements of the president of the United States will damage the global supply chains of US companies and could lead to higher prices for US consumers. UU
The question now is whether Trump will move forward with announced tariffs or change course, possibly going to the table.
Shi Yinhong, professor of international affairs at Renmin University in Beijing, said China's move has signaled the country's willingness to go "eye for eye" in a trade war.
Today's movement is "a rising wind that predicts a storm," he said, adding that if that storm arrives, "it depends on President Trump."
Luna Lin, Amber Ziye Wang and Yang Liu contributed from Beijing.  Read more: