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Your China-US trade fight questions, answered

Catch up.

  • There were US tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.
  • Then the Trump Administration proposed tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods.
  • China said it would match the move with tariffs on items like aircraft and autos.
  • Trump, angered at the response, said he’s considering an additional $100 billion in tariffs.
  • China’s response? We don’t want a trade war but are all for it if necessary.

Who has the upper hand in a trade war — the US or China? Which country stands to lose more?

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The US ships just $130 billion in goods to China, while China sends $505 billion to the US.

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But China’s President Xi Jinping has absolute power in his country is free from the public pressure that could come to bear on President Donald Trump if prices rise in the US.

Advantage: China.

Which items should I stock up on before prices increase?

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Electronics and home appliances like TVs and dishwashers could get more expensive if companies decide to pass the cost of new taxes onto customers but there's still time before we know for sure.

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Will the cost of our clothing at stores such as Old Navy and Target go up because of the tariffs?

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Clothing and shoes were excluded from the Trump administration's initial list of the 1,300 Chinese exports, but the retail industry worries that footwear could get hit.

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If Trump goes ahead with his threat to slap an additional $100 billion in tariffs on Chinese exports, clothes might be targeted.

Will the trade fight affect my 401(k)?

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It already has. When the stock market has been volatile due to trade war fears, your 401(k) likely took a short-term hit. In the long run, you might expect that thinner profits for publicly traded companies could spook investors and sink stocks.

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Is the threat of Intellectual property theft real? If so, is $50 billion in tariffs an appropriate response?

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It's widely accepted in the United States that China steals American companies' software, patents and other technology. The appropriate response is more about scope of the tariffs than the dollar value attached to them.

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Will the tariffs create US jobs?

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The tariffs will protect some jobs but hurt others. For example, there are far more jobs in industries that use steel, like car companies, than companies that actually make steel, so the steel tariff hurts more than it helps.

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