The Chinese government has confirmed the introduction of new tariffs on 128 US products, further escalating the recent trade tensions between the world's two largest economies.
China's ministry of commerce has indicated that current tariff concessions on 120 US products are being rescinded, including fresh and dried fruits, almonds, pistachios and wine, as well as steel pipes. All of these will now be subject to an additional 15 per cent tariff, while eight other items - including frozen pork and recycled aluminum - will be affected by a new 25 per cent tariff.
The value of the affected commodities is estimated at around $3 billion (€2.14 billion), prompting concerns that the sectors most likely to be directly affected, such as the US food industry, will face a significant financial impact.
These measures are being pushed through by the Chinese government in response to recent moves away from trade liberalization by the US, which has adopted a number of controversial protectionist policies under the presidency of Donald Trump.
Specifically, the new Chinese tariffs have been enacted in retaliation following President Trump's contentious decision to introduce a ten per cent levy on aluminum imports and a 25 per cent duty on steel shipments, as well as proposed tariffs on $60 billion worth of Chinese imports.
The deterioration of diplomatic relations between the US and China since President Trump assumed office has led to concerns that a global trade war could be imminent, which would result in reduced global demand and a higher price for essential goods, the impact of which could be felt worldwide.
It is now expected that further retaliatory action from China is likely to occur once the US provides more details on which products its newest planned tariffs will target.