Trade war begins as China strikes back against US over tariffs

US tariffs on $34bn worth of Chinese imports take effect as China imposes countermeasures against American goods

A trade war broke out between the world’s two largest economies, after China struck back on Friday with its own set of tariffs on American goods, shortly after the US levied $34bn of duties on Chinese imports.

Washington increased tariffs at 12:01am Eastern time (04:01 GMT) on $34bn worth of Chinese imports, a first step in what could become an accelerating series of tariffs.

Just hours after the US tariffs took effect, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told reporters in Beijing that China has also imposed its own countermeasures, and that it took effect at 12:01pm Beijing time (04:01 GMT).