Consumer tech gets reprieve as US, China spar over tariffs

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The Chinese government announced plans to impose tariffs of 25 percent on a list of more than 100 US goods worth $50 billion, including soybeans, the largest USA export to China, and aircraft.

But the impending trade war between the Trump administration and China has been building up for nearly a year.

Neither the United States nor the Chinese tariffs will take effect immediately.

China had immediately vowed a strong response.

A USA industry source said the list was somewhat unexpected in that it largely exempts major consumer grade technology products, one of China's major export categories to the U.S.

Meanwhile, the security community is warning that some of President TrumpDonald John TrumpWalker warns of Dem wave in Wisconsin after liberal wins state judicial race Trump speaks with Israel's Netanyahu as tensions simmer in region Dem-backed candidate wins Wisconsin Supreme Court race MORE's recent decisions regarding China, including moves to slap tariffs on Beijing and block Chinese acquisitions of US firms, could trigger potential blowback in cyberspace. These are commodities produced in states from Iowa to Texas, where many people voted for Trump in the 2016 presidential election. Soybeans, a major U.S. agricultural export to China, are down 3.2%. "They did target Made in China 2025, but with a caveat".

Trump tweeted his own take on the news. Orange juice is heavily produced in Florida, a key swing state. We have bills to pay and debts we must settle, and can not afford to lose any market, much less one as important as China's.

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Hormel Foods jumped $1.88, or 5.5 percent, to $36.10 and Tyson Foods rose $1.62, or 2.3 percent, to $71.55.

But investors seemed to reconsider, and White House officials cautioned that Wall Street shouldn't overreact to fears of a trade war.

"The worry is that this could escalate", Alberto Gallo, partner and portfolio manager at Algebris Investments in London, told Bloomberg.

The trade war between the USA and China has two fronts.

Trump, who contends his predecessors served the U.S. badly in trade matters, rejected the notion that the tit-for-tat moves amounted to a trade war.

The president also protested, "When you're already $500 Billion DOWN, you can't lose!" - a reference to what Trump believes the country's trade and goods deficit with China was in 2017. Chinese officials did not set a date for implementation, saying what happens next will depend on whether the US president pushes ahead with his tariff plans.

On the U.S. list were Chinese electric and conventional cars, flat panel TV screens, trains, robots, commercial ovens, snowblowers, lithium batteries, aerospace and engineering parts, among many high technology and value-added products.

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The tariffs, he said, will lead to "better economic growth, more trading going on, improved wages on both sides". Some analysts believe that limited concessions from China may be enough to launch formal negotiations.

"As the Chinese saying goes, it is only polite to reciprocate", China's Washington embassy said.

He also complained that it was "unfair" for people to by angry at Trump, and called him "the first president to fight back" at "unlawful" Chinese rules.

China said it would immediately challenge the USA move in the World Trade Organization. Volvo, owned by China's Geely Motors, also exports Chinese-built vehicles to the United States.

Soya beans are the top USA agricultural export to China and were among the 106 products on which China intends to impose the additional tariffs.

Trump has criticised China for its large trade surplus with the U.S., and has demanded a US$100 billion (NZ$137 billion) reduction in the trade imbalance, but the tariffs appear to instead target China's innovation programme.

In the past the president also has said that he would be willing to cut China some slack on trade if Xi helped put more economic pressure on North Korea to rein in its nuclear program.

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