China, US Slap Each Other With $34 Billion Tariffs

China, US Slap Each Other With $34 Billion Tariffs

China on Friday accused the United States of starting "the biggest trade war in economic history" as the two sides imposed steep new tariffs on tens of billions of dollars of each other's exports.

The Trump administration's 25 percent tariffs affect more than 800 Chinese products worth $34 billion such as industrial machinery, medical devices, and auto parts. They kicked in just after midnight ET, which is noon in Beijing, report the BBC and CNN.

"After the US activated its tariff measures against China, China's measures against the US took effect immediately," said Lu Kang, a foreign ministry spokesman.

Two companies in Shanghai told the BBC that customs authorities were delaying clearance processes for US imports on Friday.

The American tariffs are the result of President Donald Trump's bid to protect US jobs and stop "unfair transfers of American technology and intellectual property to China."

The White House said it would consult on tariffs on another $16 billion of products, which Trump has suggested could come into effect later this month.

The imposition of the tariffs had little impact on Asian stock markets. The Shanghai Composite closed 0.5 percent higher, but ended the week 3.5 percent lower – its seventh consecutive week of losses.