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America and China are in a proper trade war

ANOTHER week, a further ratcheting up of trade tensions between America and China. On September 17th President Donald Trump announced that he had approved a further wave of tariffs on Chinese imports. From September 24th, imports of products which in 2017 were worth as much as $189bn, including furniture, computers and car parts, will be hit with duties of 10%. The Chinese have promised to retaliate on the same day with duties on $60bn of American exports. Unless peace breaks out before the new year, the American rate will increase to 25% on January 1st.Mr Trump frequently rants about how the Chinese have long taken advantage of Americans. But American bureaucrats stress that the duties come after careful deliberation. The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) took seven months to write a report detailing China’s unfair trade practices. Each tranche of tariffs has been consulted on and then revised. The latest set came after the USTR’s office had received 6,000 written submissions and held six days of hearings.
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