There are reports China is delaying USA imports from entering the country

Tariffs

US President Donald Trump on Friday rolled out tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese goods in what Beijing called the "largest trade war" in economic history.

That would bring the total of targeted Chinese goods to potentially $550bn - more than the $506bn in goods that China shipped to the U.S. a year ago.

Another $16 billion are expected to go into effect in two weeks and potentially another $500 billion, Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One on his way to Montana before the tariffs kicked in.

Trump's comments appeared to increase the stakes for potential retaliation by China.

The Trump administration contends China has deployed predatory tactics in a push to overtake USA technological dominance. Companies want fairer treatment but will be hurt by U.S.

Beijing has vowed to immediately respond with an equal amount of tariffs of its own against US autos, agricultural and other products, but it was unclear how swiftly the actions could escalate into an all-out trade war. In the run-up to Friday, there was no sign of renewed negotiations between U.S. and Chinese officials, business sources in Washington and Beijing said.

Analysts are also concerned about the impact on others in the supply chain and about an escalation of tensions between the USA and China in general.

Hours after Washington introduced 25 percent trade tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods, Beijing retaliated with mirror measures against American imports.

Companies worry the spiraling dispute could chill global economic growth, but Asian financial markets took Friday's developments in stride.

China also promised that it would respond with trade restrictions of its own to counteract Trump's decision.

Minutes after the USA put its long-threatened duties into effect just after midnight on Friday morning, a spokesperson for China's ministry of commerce said it would be matching them dollar-for-dollar.

Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said that the proposed US tariffs would hit many American and foreign companies operating in China and disrupt their supplies of components and assembly work.

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The Chinese have retaliated in equal measure, opening the possibility of tit-for-tat tariff escalation, which could disrupt existing worldwide network of supply chains, and slow down the global economy, which was yet to fully recover from the 2008 recession.

In a statement released shortly after the United States tariffs went into effect, China's Ministry of Commerce called the move "typical trade bullying" and warned that retaliation would be swift.

On June 15, Trump said the USA would begin charging additional duties of 25 percent on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports in response to what he says is theft of American intellectual property.

The list avoids direct tariffs on consumer goods such as cellphones and footwear.

Previously, Beijing had vowed to impose counter-tariffs of 25 percent would apply on U.S. agricultural and other products worth $34 billion.

Chinese buying of soybeans has already ground almost to a halt ahead of the duties.

In the latest sign that the risk of penalties is hitting trade, a vessel carrying US coal heading for China switched its destination to Singapore.

Beijing has also offered the EU an alliance in a trade war with the United States, claiming that "China and European countries are natural partners".

It has informed the World Trade Organization (WTO) that it plans to impose retaliatory measures on U.S. goods to the tune of 50 billion yen (395 million euros, $455 million), after failing to persuade Washington to exempt it from the tariffs.

Reuters/Jason LeeChina's President Xi Jinping speaks to media in front U.S. and Chinese national flags during a joint news conference with U.S. President Barack Obama (not pictured) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

Wall Street gained on the back of a stronger-than-forecast employment report which helped U.S. stocks recover from an early bout of weakness as midday approached in NY. Ford said it would "continue to monitor the situation as it evolves". -Chinese tensions, Zarit said.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc.

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