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2018 Review: US, China trade war persists

By Valentine Kondo | Jan 3rd 2019 | 3 min read
By Valentine Kondo | January 3rd 2019
US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping leave an event at the Great Hall. [Photo: Courtesy]

In March, US President Donald Trump struck a defiant tone saying trade wars were good and easy to win, after his plan to put tariffs on steel and aluminum imports triggered threats of retaliation from trading partners and a slide in stock markets.

China angered, warned the United States that it was "not afraid of a trade war" threatening tariffs on $3 billion worth of US goods in retaliation over President Donald Trump's moves against its imports.

Beijing unveiled a hit list of products that could face duties of up to 25 percent, from fresh fruit to pork and wine, though it stopped short of pulling the trigger as it indicated its readiness to negotiate an agreement.

In August, Chinas’s Finance Minister Liu Kun in an interview with Reuters said that China will continue to hit back against the US if more tariffs are imposed.

The escalating trade row between the US and China saw each side impose 25% tariffs on a total of $50b of one another's goods.

The US had threatened a third round of tariffs on an additional $200b of Chinese goods, which could come as soon as September 2018.

President Trump also said he could slap tariffs on all $500 billion of imports from the country.

September, on the heightened trade row, China Premier talked on plans against devaluing the country’s currency saying, “China will never go down the path of stimulating exports by devaluing its currency.’’ after US said that it would have to impose high tariffs on China exports.

In June, President Donald Trump accused China of manipulating its currency lower for self-gain in exportation a statement which Li Keqiang dismissed saying, "The recent fluctuations in the renminbi exchange rate had been seen by some as an intentional measure on the part of China.’’

In early November, trade war between US and China escalated as both economies tried to take power from each other.

This made Jack Ma, the chief of Asia’s most valuable public company, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd call the truce as the “most stupid thing in this world.”

The two countries set tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of each other’s goods with President Donald Trump threatening to slap tariffs on the remainder of China’s $500 billion-plus exports to the United States if the trade dispute could not be resolved.

Late November, Thailand, Thai latex that makes everything from tyres and condoms to baby pacifiers and surgical gloves, the fruit of the rubber trees cultivated across endless acres of the country experienced a crossroad as a bitter dispute between the world's two biggest economies ricocheted across Southeast Asia with unexpected consequences.

In December, China and the United States agreed to a ceasefire in their bitter trade war on after high-stakes talks in Argentina’s G20 summit between US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, including no escalated tariffs on January 1.

What will happen in 2019?

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