Not long after US tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods kicked in, the Chinese government has responded by imposing its own 5% tariff on 545 US products, also worth a total of $34 billion.
Trade disputes are nothing new for the two economic superpowers, and they are not confined to targeting each other. In total, China and the US have more than 300 disputes with different countries and trading blocks.
China’s trade disputes
As the above chart shows, China is involved in a total of 55 trade disputes, either as the complainant or responder.
While the majority these are with the US, China also has 13 trade disputes with the European Union, plus a handful of others with countries including Japan and Mexico.
US trade disputes
The US has more than five times as many trade disputes as China.
Seven of the complaints against it all followed the order signed by US President Donald Trump in March, which imposed a 25% import tax on steel and 10% tariff on foreign-made aluminium. China, India, the EU, Norway, Russia, Canada and Mexico have all lodged complaints with the World Trade Organization (WTO) against the steel and aluminium tariffs.
The US itself has also lodged more than 100 complaints with the WTO against imports or the trade policies of nine countries and the EU. Products that the US is currently fighting trade disputes over include Argentinian textiles, India solar panels and European cheese.