China and the United States may be in a trade war, but there is no shortage of trading barbs and punitive measures. The US-China trade war took another turn this week after Beijing vowed to raise tariffs on an additional $75 billion of American goods. Angered by this, President Trump fired off a Tweet Friday evening that the US would raise existing tariffs against China to 30% beginning October 1. His message comes after an earlier call to American companies "to immediately start looking for an alternative to China." Stocks dropped over 600 points after his Tweets. Soybean futures took a big hit as well, as the US Department of Agriculture claims that China has only purchased half the agreed upon amount of soybeans so far this year, a violation of its commitment. President Trump has threatened further sanctions on Chinese imports to start in September, and China has retaliated by halting purchases of all agricultural produce.
And on Wednesday, just weeks after President Trump said China is not doing enough to crack down on the trafficking of fentanyl into the United States, the Treasury Department imposed sanctions on three Chinese citizens that stand accused of trafficking synthetic opioids. Meanwhile, Chinese state media hit back at the accusations, saying that the responsibility to prevent the trafficking flow lies with the United States alone.
But wait, there's more: China is threatening its own round of sanctions on U.S. firms sending arms to Taiwan if the Trump administration pursues its plans to send $8 billion worth of American-made F-16 fighter jets to the island. Beijing says this arms sale, the fourth from the Trump administration to Taiwan, would violate previous U.S. promises to China. China has made similar demands and threats in the past, to little avail.
Prepared by China-US Focus editorial teams in Hong Kong and New York, this weekly newsletter offers you snap shots of latest trends and developments emerging from China every week, while adding a dose of historical perspective.