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Axios Visuals

China on Friday hit the U.S. with $34 billion in retaliatory tariffs on 545 products, and they are expected to take particular aim at states that voted for President Trump in the 2016 election.

Bottom line: Trump had promised that such actions would be met with additional U.S. tariffs, which means the two countries may be staring down the black hole of a tit-for-tat trade war.

The retaliatory duties on the United States took place immediately after Washington's initial tariff hike on Chinese goods on Friday morning.

  • China's list of U.S. products that will be affected includes soybeans, lobsters, bourbon, cotton, tobacco and liquified propane.
  • New U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports include such products as airplane tires, oil and gas drilling platform parts, lithium batteries, ball bearings and medical equipment like X-ray machines

Why it matters: For U.S. businesses, this trade war creates both short-term and long-term complications.

  • In the short term, some export orders will be canceled, thus leading to an immediate loss of revenue.
  • In the longer term, the uncertainty could make it harder for companies to properly plan. For example, bourbon makers in Kentucky effectively have to invest now for what demand will look like years into the future, while soybean farmers need to buy seed for future growing seasons.

What's next: Experts believe China may not be finished, reports the Washington Post. It could go beyond tariffs and increase the cost of custom inspections, while China's citizens could end up boycotting U.S. products — as happened last year to South Korea's Lotte Group.

Go deeper

U.S. grants temporary protected status to thousands of Venezuelans

Venezuelan citizens participate in the vote for the popular consultation in December 2020, as part of a protest against Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro in Doral, Florida. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP

Venezuelans living in the United States will be eligible to receive temporary protected status for 18 months, the Department of Homeland Security announced Monday.

Why it matters: Tens of thousands of Venezuelans have fled to the U.S. amid economic, political and social turmoil back home. Former President Trump, on his last full day in office, granted some protections to Venezuelans through the U.S. Deferred Enforced Departure program, but advocates and lawmakers said the move didn't go far enough.

"She-cession" threatens economic recovery

Illustration: Sarah Grillo

Decades of the slow economic progress women made catching up to men evaporated in just one year.

Why it matters: As quickly as those gains were erased, it could take much, much longer for them to return — a warning Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen issued today.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

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