We warned our clients that the US-Sino trade war would escalate. It has and will continue to do so. President Trump’s announcement of new tariffs is a staging post in the intensification of the conflict. Although the immediate move is “only” a 10% tariff on $200bn worth of Chinese imports beginning next week, the hike will kick up to 25% in January if no deal is reached with Beijing. China has said it will retaliate though details are not yet available; the authorities have previously spoken of tariff increases on $60bn worth of American imports. The rising confrontation poses a political as well as an economic challenge which the Chinese leadership will find it virtually impossible to duck, pointing to further escalation.
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