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The US-China trade war has officially begun, and tech will feel it

At 12:01 a.m. EST, the Trump administration’s tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods officially went into effect. China immediately retaliated in equal measure.

Shots fired: China’s commerce ministry released a statement saying the US “has launched the largest trade war in economic history to date.” The Trump administration, which has maintained that China engages in unfair trade practices and steals intellectual property, has threatened another $500 billion in tariffs.

What’s affected? Many of the tariffs focus on tech-centric sectors—like aerospace, communications, and robotics—that the Chinese government sees as critical to the country’s future. Tariffed items include aircraft engines and parts, ball bearings, microscopes, tractor parts, large motor vehicles, and LEDs (see the full list here).

The immediate impact: Some Chinese ports saw delays in clearing US imports as they waited for official word on the tariffs. Companies will have to make a choice on whether to pass increased costs along to customers.

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Illustration by Rose Wong

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