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Beijing criticized Washington’s decision to introduce new tariffs on Chinese products, accusing China of fomenting the biggest trade war in history.

The US launched a trade war by imposing 25% tariffs on imports from China on Friday, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said.

“On July 6, the US began to impose 25% tariffs on a series of products imported from China worth US $34 billion. The US violated the rules of the World Trade Organization and triggered the biggest trade war in the eocnomic history of the world,” the statement said .

In addition, Beijing, which had previously said it was not planning to take a “first step”, is now forced to take retaliatory action against imported US agricultural and automobile products and will notify the WTO of the situation.

China is also expected to announce the application of US $34 billion in customs duties on products imported from the United States.

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While Beijing’s tariffs is a response, China will announce measures earlier due to the 12-hour time difference between China and the US.

Washington announced on June 15 its decision to introduce an additional 25% tariffs on 818 Chinese products worth a total of $34 billion. In response, Beijing said it would take retaliatory action against agricultural products and automobiles imported from the United States.

The products China are targeting are against industries that were staunch Trump voting states. It remains to be seen how Republican voters from these states will react to the tariffs since these are in retaliation to ones that Trump introduced. It is especially confusing as the US in the last century has been the biggest advocates for free trade but are now claiming they are being ‘rip off’ by such a system. It also remains to be seen how these tariffs will directly impact the American and Chinese economy, but all reputable economists believe that the US will come out weaker from this trade war.

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