The United States has fired its biggest shot yet in the trade war with China. The U.S. had been expected to impose new tariffs targeting around $16 billion in Chinese goods this week, and China had been expected to respond in kind. But the U.S. blew up the cycle of gradual tit-for-tat escalation late on Tuesday by announcing 10 percent duties on some $200 billion in Chinese imports. (Beijing has not yet responded, largely because it doesn’t import enough from the U.S. to match that figure. It will likely resort to indirect measures, such as making life miserable for U.S. firms operating in China.) The previous rounds of U.S. tariffs selectively targeted certain products, but this round appears designed to inflict as much pain on the Chinese economy as possible, targeting a wide range of low-end manufactured products, from handbags to refrigerators to TVs, that form the backbone of the Chinese economy. The government also appears unconcerned with how the tariffs will affect U.S. cons
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