US president Donald Trump has announced a 25% tariff on $50bn in Chinese imports.
The move will escalate the trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies and deepen the trade war between the US and a host of others, including the European Union.
The tariffs cover 1,102 separate product categories, according to a list from the US Trade Representatives Office.
It comes after an “exhaustive investigation” found that China’s “acts, policies and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation are unreasonable and discriminatory, and burden US commerce”, the USTR said.
US trade representative Ambassador Robert Lighthizer said: “China’s government is aggressively working to undermine America’s high-tech industries and our economic leadership through unfair trade practices and industrial policies like Made in China 2025.
“Technology and innovation are America’s greatest economic assets and President Trump rightfully recognises that if we want our country to have a prosperous future, we must take a stand now to uphold fair trade and protect American competitiveness.”
The FTSE 100 had been hovering around 0.8% down but lost a further 0.15% in the minutes after the announcement, while the pan European STOXX 600 fell 0.5%.