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tariff trade
July 11, 2018

The U.S. and China have spent the past few months volleying tariffs back and forth. But this time, Beijing can't return the serve.

President Trump ordered another $200 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods Tuesday, retaliating against the Asian country's own retaliation. But China doesn't import as many American products as the U.S. brings in from China, so another tariff on American goods wouldn't have the same weight. Instead, Beijing is experimenting with some new punishments, The Wall Street Journal reports.

China was "shocked" by America's newest tariffs, which came just a few days after Beijing's own charges, per a Chinese Commerce Ministry statement reported by the Journal. The country "has no choice but to take necessary countermeasures," the statement continued, per the Journal. But with the U.S.'s trade deficit with China around $375 billion in 2017, officials suggest China is cautiously drifting from the usual tariff-on-tariff formula.

This time around, China is planning to delay licensing approval for U.S. firms, slow up acquisitions and mergers involving U.S. companies, and get tougher on American import inspections, Chinese officials told the Journal. Just how far China can take these measures is questionable, though. Europe and the U.S. have complained about measures like these that close off China's markets, and China can't afford to completely lose these trade partners. That could be why China has spent the past few weeks actively trying to partner with the European Union against Trump's tariffs.

U.S. tariffs are supposedly aimed at getting China to ease regulations and increase market access, the Journal says, but the two countries continue to ignore each others' demands. Read more at The Wall Street Journal. Kathryn Krawczyk

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