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Trade war

US and China edge toward a destructive trade war

Tit-for-tat tariffs would hurt closely linked economies and the world

Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, and U.S. President Donald Trump are both eyeing new tariffs.   © Reuters

WASHINGTON/BEIJING -- Planned U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports and talk of retaliation by Beijing have brought the world's two largest economies to the brink of a trade war that threatens to harm both and undermine the global free trade system.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday signed an executive memorandum directing trade officials to levy duties on Chinese goods in response to alleged violations of intellectual property rights.

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