China-U.S. trade war ratchets up

The increases are likely to include soybeans and pork

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China retaliated Monday with its own announcement of increased tariffs in response to United States President Donald Trump’s increases from 10 to 25 per cent that took effect Friday.

But China said its tariff increases will be held off until June 1.

The Chinese retaliatory tariffs will be imposed at different levels:

  • 25 per cent 2,493 items;
  • 20 per cent on 1,078 items;
  • 10 per cent on 974 items, and
  • five per cent to continue on 595 items.

The report by Bloomberg news agency did not immediately identify U.S. agricultural products, but the increases are likely to include soybeans and pork to put political pressure on Republican politicians.

China’s pork tariffs have already depressed prices for Canadian soybeans and pork, and that was before China made it more difficult for Canadians to market both to Chinese customers.

Soybean shipments have faced lengthy delays at Chinese ports and two Canadian pork exporters have had their shipments suspended because of Chinese objections to “out-dated paperwork” forms from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Canadian canola shipments have also been suspended because of unsubstantiated Chinese claims that some shipments contained banned insects and pests.

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