How will the US-China trade war impact South Africa?

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The United States attacked first, imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum from around the globe and threatening to hit tens of billions of dollars in Chinese products.

The trade row between the E-U and the United States is in its full force as the European Commission says it will begin charging 25 percent import duties on a range of American products. "The U.S.is abusing the tariff methods and starting trade wars all around the world".

The products affected will include cigarettes, denim, peanut butter, orange juice, blue jeans, bourbon, and motorcycles.

The U.S. tariffs hit some $7.5 billion of European products; the EU says that today's measures target almost half that figure, and that it plans to impose a slightly larger block of tariffs later - either in three years, or if/when the WTO rules in its favor.

The spat comes amid a wider push by President Trump's administration to hit other countries with tariffs that would reduce the US trade deficit.

Case in point: Daimler AG late Wednesday slashed its earnings outlook for the year, saying fewer Chinese consumers will buy Mercedes-Benz SUVs because of tariffs Beijing is slapping on autos imported from the US.

The tariffs, which will hit American products including motorcycles and denim, are a response to Trump administration tariffs on steel and aluminum exports from Europe.

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In a survey released Wednesday by the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, almost half of European firms said it had become "more difficult" to do business in the past 12 months.

According to the China Daily, the USA is trying to preserve the global economic system, which is working to America's benefit. European Union steel and aluminium exports now facing U.S. tariffs are worth a total of 6.4 billion euros (RM29.6 billion).

In trade wars, there tend to many casualties and few winners.

Reuters reported that Gao Feng, a spokesman for the Chinese Commerce Ministry, said the Trump administration's trade policies will in the end be counterproductive for American interests. Trump would start July 6 by taxing $34 billion worth of products and later add tariffs on an additional $16 billion in goods. The United States' trade deficit with China previous year was $376 billion, by comparison.

The commission formally adopted the new tariffs, allowing them to come into effect on June 22.

The world's most-powerful central bankers this week warned that escalating worldwide trade tensions have started damaging confidence among companies, threatening the global economic expansion.

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