Push comes to shove in US-China trade battle

Beijing’s decision to let its currency weaken surprised the markets, and it is far from clear if Washington can muster an intelligent response

11th August, 2019
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Selling on Wall Street accelerated last Monday as a steep drop in the Chinese renminbi took markets by surprise Picture: AFP/Getty

The People’s Bank of China last Monday allowed the Chinese renminbi to significantly weaken against the US dollar. Beijing also banned its state-owned enterprises from buying US agricultural produce.

The first decision was a direct response to Donald Trump’s surprise announcement of a 10 per cent tariff on Chinese goods, effective from next month. There had been a détente between the two countries after the G20 meeting in Japan in June, at which...

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