The U.S. and China, facing mounting political pressures at home, are seeing economic tensions flare to their worst point in years over currency and trade practices.
China has pushed the yuan to a five-year low against the dollar, reviving charges from American firms of currency manipulation to gain a competitive advantage for Chinese goods. The Obama administration has fired off a series of trade complaints and levied duties on several Chinese industries, from chicken feet to cold-rolled steel used in appliances and auto parts.
The friction between the world’s two largest economies could worsen as domestic politics collide with already weak growth.
The U.S., seeing heightened anti-China rhetoric in the presidential election, wants China to press ahead with promised policies to open up its markets and allow greater international investment.