BEIJING — The United States and China hiked tariffs Friday on billions of dollars of each other’s goods, launching what Beijing called the “biggest trade war in economic history” in a spiraling dispute over technology.
The Trump administration is confronting Beijing over development tactics that it says include stealing or pressuring foreign companies to hand over technology. American officials worry Chinese plans to create tech champions in fields including robotics, biotech and artificial intelligence will erode US industrial leadership.
Washington imposed 25 percent duties on $34 billion of imports from China in the first in a possible series of increases that President Donald Trump says could affect up to $550 billion of Chinese goods.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry said “retaliatory tariffs” took effect. The Communist Party newspaper People’s Daily said they were imposed on a $34 billion list of goods issued last month that included soybeans, pork and electric vehicles.
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