Dark clouds continue to gather over US-China trade

What remains of May may very well be the straw that breaks the proverbial camel’s back if the US and China decide to proceed with punishing tariffs against one another.

This after America’s still-biggest trade partner announced that it would be instituting tariffs on $60 billion of US goods.

The proposed retaliatory tariffs, unsurprisingly decided on after President Donald Trump last week called for tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods, will take effect on June 1.

China’s Ministry of Finance added that the tariffs were still avoidable, provided that bilateral trade talks were re-convened.

In a show of faith that it believes appeasement is possible, the ministry also invited importers and related business interests to apply for exemption from tariffs.

Trump’s administration though, with $50 billion of Chinese goods already under 25% tariffs, said It was planning to raise levies on all Chinese imports.

That means in addition to the $200 billion of Chinese goods on which it may place tariffs from June, it will impose tariffs on China’s entire bouquet of goods destined for American shores.

With little over two weeks left to avoid a full-blown trade war, trading concerns across the globe agree that China and the US should pay heed to some Shakespearean wisdom: “Beware the Ides of March”.

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