President Trump’s latest tough talking on trade has upset stock markets, angered US allies around the world and even drawn criticism from members of his own party.
Whether it represents the start of a global trade war is likely to depend on the reaction from China, which Trump has repeatedly slammed for killing American jobs with its unfair trade practices.
The tariffs on US steel and aluminum imports that Trump announced Thursday are “definitely the start of more aggressive trade measures by the Trump administration to protect US industry from what it sees as predatory practices of others,” said Scott Kennedy, an expert on the Chinese economy at the Center for Strategic & International Studies in Washington.
China could retaliate by imposing punishing measures of its own on major US exports such as soybeans or airplanes, according to analysts. Or it could put the squeeze on top American companies that do big business in its market, such as Apple (AAPL) and Intel (INTC).
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