A large-scale trade war between the United States and China officially kicked off on Friday, with Washington and Beijing imposing 25-percent tariffs on $34 billion worth of each other's goods. The burdens enacted by the Trump administration went into effect at 4:01 AM GMT, i.e. early afternoon in China, and were met with an identical and immediate response from the Far Eastern country. While the U.S. primarily targeted Chinese technologies and intellectual properties encompassed by the "Made in China 2025" strategic plan, Beijing's measures were less concentrated and imposed on everything from vehicles and lobsters to soybeans and electronics.
Another wave of tariffs encompassing some $16 billion of China's imports to the U.S. is set to go into effect later this summer, the White House said several weeks back. Beijing already harshly criticized Washington over its decision to start the largest trade war in human history, with President Trump recently increasing his threat of extra tariffs being imposed in the future, saying the U.S. may eventually sanction up to $500 billion worth of imported goods from the country, which is the approximate value of all annual stateside imports from the world's second-largest economy estimated to be worth some $14 trillion. The American economy has a $20 trillion valuation to back up its latest push against trade deficits that President Trump repeatedly called unfair and in dire need of addressing.
The Trump administration previously engaged in smaller tariff conflicts with Mexico, Canada, and a number of other historic U.S. allies. Some of China's largest technology companies, Huawei and ZTE, are expected to see their U.S. status deteriorate even further following the latest exchange of trade blows between the world's two most powerful economies. Both are presently struggling in the U.S. due to national security concerns being raised in conjunction to their operations, with ZTE being in a particularly problematic situation due to its repeated conflicts with the Commerce Department over select trade embargoes.