WASHINGTON -- The world’s two largest economies fired opening shots in a trade war that could have wide-ranging consequences.

  • U.S. imposed tariffs on more than 800 products
  • China imposed tariffs on assorted U.S. goods
  • China, Russia, European Union, India filed complaints with WTO

At the stroke of midnight, the U.S. hit China with tariffs on $34 billion worth of goods. More than 800 products have been targeted -- those products include industrial machinery, mechanical devices and auto parts.  

China immediately responded hitting the U.S. with tariffs of equal value, accusing the U.S. of launching the largest trade war in economic history.

Beijing is now threatening high value American exports as revenge -- like cars, crude oil, sport utility vehicles, whiskey and cash crops like soybeans. The farm goods are strategic. They hit states that voted for President Trump.

How exactly will the average American be affected? If U.S. companies have to pay higher costs for industrial products from China, that may result in fewer jobs.

Also, some consumer products could be directly impacted like tools, batteries, remote controls, flash drives and thermostats.

Russia also raised tariffs on some U.S. imports because the U.S. imposed tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum. The tariffs range from an additional 25 to 40 percent, and include some road construction equipment, oil and gas equipment, metal processing instruments, drilling equipment and optical fiber.

China also filed a complaint against the U.S. to the World Trade Organization because of the tariffs, its second. The European Union, India and Russia have also challenged the tariffs in the WTO.


The U.S. imposed tariffs on the following products:

  • Airplanes, aircraft tires and engine components
  • Nuclear reactor equipment and parts
  • Marine and boat components
  • Industrial machinery
  • Heavy equipment and machinery for mining, construction and farming
  • Electrical and computer components
  • Steel products
  • Electric motors and generators
  • Communications and radio equipment
  • Motor vehicles

China imposed tariffs on the following products, according to the Communist Party newspaper:

  • Pork, beef, chicken and other meat products
  • Soybeans
  • Seafood, from oysters and salmon to carp and catfish
  • Cheese, yogurt and other milk products
  • Fresh and refrigerated fruits and vegetables
  • Whiskey
  • Frozen orange juice
  • Tobacco products
  • Automobiles

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.