National flags of China and the United States
Trade disputes between China and the United States have made headlines around the world, and continue to escalate. In the ongoing tussle between the two economic giants, here is what you need to know:
How did the dispute arise?
January 22 (American Eastern Standard Time)
Import tariffs on solar panels and washing machines
U.S. President Donald Trump approved a tariff up to 30 percent on solar panels and a tariff up to 50 percent on washing machines. The move had a heavy impact on China's exports.
Import tariffs on steel and aluminum
Trump ordered to impose steep tariffs on imported steel and aluminum of 25 percent and 10 percent respectively.
U.S. President Donald Trump ordered to impose steep tariffs on imported steel and aluminum of 25 percent and 10 percent respectively
U.S. broader tariffs & China's first countermeasure
China said it will impose tariffs on American goods of 3 billion U.S. dollars. The move is in response to the Trump administration's earlier decision to impose steel and aluminum tariffs.
On the same day, Trump signed a memorandum that could impose tariffs on up to 60 billion U.S. dollars of imports from China.
China unveiled a list of products worth 50 billion U.S. dollars imported from the United States that will be subject to higher tariffs, including soy bean, automobiles and chemical products.
Trump threatens to slap tariffs on 100 billion U.S. dollars of imports from China.
In response, a spokesperson with China's Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said, China will fight "at any cost" and take "comprehensive countermeasures" if the United States continues its unilateral, protectionist practices.
"We don't want a trade war, but we are not afraid of such a war," the spokesperson said.
What has China said towards Sino-U.S. trade issue
The Lujiazui Financial District in Shanghai
China has reiterated its strong objection towards U.S. protectionist and unilateral actions under different circumstances.
On March 23, the MOC said the U.S. should "pause on the brink of a precipice" and make prudent decisions.
It called the U.S. restrictive measures on China "a very bad precedent" and said it went against "the interests of China, the United States and the world at large."
China will not sit idly watching its legitimate rights and interests being damaged under any circumstance, the MOC declared.
On April 6, the MOC clarified that there have been no talks over economic and trade issues between China and the U.S. recently.
Calling tariffs on 100 billion U.S. dollars of imports from China "unreasonable" and "extremely wrong," Gao Feng, a spokesperson with the MOC said the U.S. has misjudged the situation and will only "shoot itself in its foot."
What will the trade quarrel bring to the U.S.?
A container ship is docked at the Yangshan port in Shanghai
China's last tariff list targeting U.S. imports, including beef, whiskey and passenger vehicles, has sent U.S. market into tailspin, and put industries under pressure.
The new tariffs on imported steel and aluminum would actually cost the U.S. nearly 146,000 jobs, according to a latest research by the Trade Partnership, a Washington-based consulting firm.
Service sectors will be hit the hardest, the research found. Consumers are likely to reduce spending when they are hit by higher costs and lost wages from unemployment.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture projects that retaliatory tariffs will hurt U.S. farmers at a time they are already struggling. Their earnings are expected to fall 6.7 percent this year to 59.5 billion dollars, about half of the United States' 2013 record high.
The threatened tariffs, if realized, may hurt China. But the damage would be done at the expense of American interests.
As Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai put it earlier, "If people want to play tough, we will play tougher with them, and see who lasts longer."