Eyes turn to China as President Trump's import tariffs go live

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Trump confirmed that the United States would begin collecting tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese goods at 12:01 a.m. Washington D.C. time (0401 GMT) on Friday and warned that subsequent rounds could see tariffs on more than $500 billion of goods, or roughly the total amount that the United States imported from China past year.

Economic Development Minister Maxim Oreshkin said in a statement Friday that additional tariffs ranging from 25 to 40 percent have been applied to some road construction equipment, oil and gas equipment, metal processing instruments, drilling equipment and optical fiber.

"Clearly we're concerned about the overall trend line of USA trade policy, particularly the amount of retaliation our industry is experiencing now or will experience", said Edward Brzytwa, director of global trade for the Washington-based association.

Trump has railed against Beijing for intellectual property theft, barriers to entry for USA businesses and a $375 billion U.S. trade deficit with China. The European slammed the move as protectionism and slapped counter-measures on US products.

On Friday, the Trump administration imposed tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese products.

Beijing has vowed to immediately respond with an equal amount of tariffs of its own against USA autos, agricultural and other products, but it was unclear how swiftly the actions could escalate into an all-out trade war. Trump's tariffs are meant to pressure Beijing to reform its trade policies.

United States tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese imports took effect as a deadline passed on Friday, with Beijing saying it had no choice but to respond in kind, as the two trading giants escalated a bitter row. The pact eliminated most trade barriers among the three countries.

Asian markets appear to have taken in stride the USA move to raise tariffs on billions of dollars of Chinese products. The two-year yield, which rises with traders' expectations of higher Fed fund rates, touched 2.5527 percent compared with a USA close of 2.561 percent.

Li says the US introduction of tariffs "benefits no one". Trump's attempt to use the steel and aluminum tariffs to pry concessions from the Mexicans and Canadians proved futile.

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To what extent the trade tensions bleed into other aspects of the U.S.

"The risk that further escalation derails growth is keeping some investors cautious", ANZ analysts said in a note Friday.

At a media briefing, foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang spoke of the "unfair tariff" actions.

At the stroke of midnight Washington time, the U.S. pulled the trigger on 25-percent duties on about $34 billion in Chinese machinery, electronics and high-tech equipment, including autos, computer hard drives and LEDs. It is unclear when these will come into effect.

Tokyo closed 1.1% higher, but Hong Kong fell 0.5% in late trading.

China's commerce ministry called the United States actions "a violation of world trade rules" and said it had "initiated the largest-scale trade war in economic history".

USA crude rose 1.22 percent to $73.83 per barrel and Brent was last at $77.07, down 0.41 percent on the day.

China is a big market for Alaska, worth up to a billion dollars a year, with half of that figure being sent directly to China for home consumption.

Today, the ministry added: "The Chinese side promised not to fight the first shot, but in order to defend the core interests of the people, they had to be forced to make the necessary counter-attacks". It opened markets for USA farmers but led some American automakers to shift production to low-wage Mexico and to then ship cars back to the United States duty-free.