China raised import duties on a $3 billion list of U.S. pork, apples and other products Monday in an escalating dispute with Washington over trade and industrial policy.
The government of President Xi Jinping said it was responding to a U.S. tariff hike on steel and aluminum. But that is just one facet of sprawling tensions with Washington, Europe and Japan over a state-led economic model they complain hampers market access, protects Chinese companies and subsidizes exports in violation of Beijing’s free-trade commitments.
Already, companies are looking ahead to a bigger fight over U.S. President Donald Trump’s approval of higher duties on up to $50 billion of Chinese goods in response to complaints that Beijing steals or pressures foreign companies to hand over technology.
Forecasters say the impact of Monday’s move should be limited, but investors worry the global recovery might be set back if other governments respond by raising import barriers.
On Monday, the main stock market indexes in Tokyo and Shanghai ended the day down.