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Tit-for-tat trade tariffs between China and the United States fuel fears of a trade war

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Tit-for-tat trade tariffs between China and the United States fuel fears of a trade war

Tit-for-tat trade tariffs between China and the United States fuel fears of a trade war
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China has notified the World Trade Organization it's imposing €499 million worth of retaliatory tariffs on €2.24 billion worth of U.S. imports including pork, nuts and ethanol.

The tit-for-tat move came after US President Donald Trump imposed tariffs on Chinese aluminium and steel on grounds of national security.

The US is expected to announce this week tariffs on 41 billion euros to €49 billion in Chinese imports following an investigation under Section 301 of the 1974 U.S. Trade Act.

Those tariffs are expected to target products benefiting from Beijing's "Made in China 2025" industrial development programme, although it may be more than two months before the import curbs take effect, U.S. officials have said.

The Section 301 investigation initiated by Trump is focused on accusations of theft of intellectual property and forced technology transfer by China, charges Beijing denies.

As the US-China trade relationship deteriorates countries with the biggest economies in the world, such as Japan, are warning that free trade is under threat.

"Japan must protect the framework of free trade based on the WTO," Taro Kono, Japan's foreign minister said.

American trade representatives also fear Chinese companies, including state owned ones, will now look for other countries to trade with.

"We've heard from some member companies that any deterioration in US-China relations may open the door for some for some of their international competitors to capture their market share in the China market," Jacob Parker, US-China Business Council, Vice President of China Operations, said.