China's Xi gets tougher on Trump after new tariff threat

Published: Aug. 12, 2019 at 9:25 PM PDT
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Facing another U.S. tariff hike, Chinese President Xi Jinping is getting tougher with Washington.

Beijing fired what economists called a "warning shot" at Washington by letting its yuan currency weaken in response to President Donald Trump's latest threat of more punitive import duties on Sept. 1. Chinese buyers canceled multibillion-dollar purchases of U.S. soybeans. Regulators are threatening to place American companies on an "unreliable entities" list.

Both sides have incentives to settle a trade war that is battering exporters and threatening to tip the global economy into recession. But Xi's government is lashing out and might be settling in for prolonged wrangling.

Negotiators are to meet in September in Washington, but China's political calendar makes progress unlikely.

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