Commodity and ag groups react to the imposed Chinese tariffs

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"If the trade situation continues to deteriorate, our lives as farmers and ranchers will become more hard", says Zippy Duvall, American Farm Bureau Federation president.

A presidential memorandum signed by Mr Trump will target up to $US60 billion ($F121b) in Chinese goods with tariffs over what his administration says is misappropriation of U.S. intellectual property, but only after a 60-day consultation period that starts once a list is published. China's decision to hit back was based on the Trump administration's decision to apply tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum earlier in March, it said.

The announcement has unnerved many in Trump's base of supporters in USA agriculture.

The sanctions Mr Trump proposed on Thursday could affect as much as $60 billion in imports and are a response to allegations Beijing steals or forces foreign companies to hand over technology.

"I'm very concerned", says John Heisdorffer, a soybean producer from Iowa and president of the American Soybean Association.

Stocks around the world have plunged as investors feared that a trade conflict between the U.S. and China would escalate.

According to the ministry, the measures will include a 15-per cent tariff on products including fruits, nuts, wines and seamless steel tubes, and a 25-per cent tariff on pork and recycled aluminium products. But the specter of more lingers on the horizon. A total of 128 U.S. products have been identified for tariffs if the two sides can not come to an understanding. The USDA projected last month that USA farm income is expected to decline almost 7% this year. -China trade war ranked as the most-read topic on Friday.

Don't be "penny wise and pound foolish" in pressing ahead with a trade war, China today warned America as it unveiled plans to impose higher tariffs on 128 United States products worth about Dollars 3 billion, while keeping "powder dry" by sparing big-ticket items for a future date.

China has repeatedly said that it doesn't want a trade war but warned that it would take "firm and necessary" countermeasures if necessary.

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Pelosi said Trump's tariffs package "should be used as a leverage point to negotiate more fair and open trade for U.S. products in China". Fears of a trade war have sent jitters through global markets.

Lighthizer identified the countries initially exempted from the steel and aluminum tariffs in response to a question from Sen.

The US claims under the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement) relate to China's discrimination against foreign intellectual property rights holders (Article 3) and failure to ensure patent rights for foreign patent holders (Article 28).

"We'll have by far the most powerful nuclear force on Earth and it will be absolutely in flawless shape and condition and hopefully, praise be to God we don't ever have to use it", he said.

Why has the US chose to impose these economic tariffs on China?

However, China has signaled it may impose more significant measures should Trump follow through with his tariffs.

Canadian products that are similar to Chinese goods could also be substituted by American buyers, helping to boost Canada's export sector.

Ultimately, for the WTO, the key question is how other countries respond to the USA, according to Francois. "We can't interrupt this".

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