New trade war begins as US trade deficit with China rises to $500 billion

New trade war begins as US trade deficit with China rises to $500 billion

WASHINGTON/BEIJING: The trade war between US and China picked steam after the two biggest economies in the world slapped half-baked tariffs on each other.

Escalating Trump's 'America first' trade policy, US President Donald Trump on Thursday imposed $50 billion worth of tariffs on Chinese goods, alleging 'unfair' intellectual property theft. The action followed a seven-month investigation into the allegations, a long-standing point of contention between US-China trade relations.

Immediately after, China also raised the tariffs on US pork, aluminium and other goods in response to Trump tariff hikes. The official website of China 's commerce ministry has a proposed list of 128 US products as potential retaliation targets.

In addition to tariffs, the White House also plans to impose new investment restrictions and take action against China at the World Trade Organization.

"We have a tremendous intellectual property theft problem. It's going to make us a much stronger, much richer nation," Trump said.

"This has been long in the making," Trump told reporters in the White House at the ceremony while signing his memorandums targeting China 's economic actions.

The US currently has nearly $500 billion of trade deficit with China .

In a statement by the Chinese Embassy in Washington D.C., China "forcefully denounced" President Trump`s decision of imposing trade tariffs on Chinese goods and accused of putting the two countries on the brink for a trade war, according to media reports.

"If a trade war were initiated by the US , China would fight to the end to defend its own legitimate interests with all necessary measures," the embassy said.