October 10, 2019 / 1:46 PM / 9 months ago

TIMELINE-Key dates in the U.S.-China trade war

    Oct 10 (Reuters) - Top U.S. and Chinese trade officials met
on Thursday for the first time since late July to try to find
their way out of a bitter, 15-month trade war as new irritants
between the world's two largest economies threatened to dash
hopes for progress.
    Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, U.S. Trade Representative
Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin were
trying to narrow differences enough to avoid a scheduled Oct. 15
tariff rate increase on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods.
    But the atmosphere surrounding the talks was soured by the
U.S. Commerce Department's decision on Monday to blacklist 28
Chinese technology and surveillance firms, citing human rights
violations of Muslim minority groups in China's Xinjiang
    A day later, the U.S. State Department imposed visa
restrictions on Chinese officials related to the Xinjiang issue.
    If talks fail to produce progress, by Dec. 15, nearly all
Chinese goods imports into the United States -- more than $500
billion -- could be subject to punitive tariffs in the dispute,
which spans U.S. President Donald Trump's entire time in office.
Tariffs would be applied to nearly all US goods imported into
China as well.             
    The following timeline details key moments in the souring
trade relationship between the world's two largest economies.
    June 28, 2016
    S&P 500: +1.78%
    While campaigning for the White House, Trump lays out plans
to counter unfair trade practices from China at a rally in
Pennsylvania. He also previews his eventual moves to apply
tariffs under sections 201 and 301 of the Trade Act of 1974. He
says China’s entrance into the World Trade Organization enabled
the "greatest jobs theft in history." 

    March 31, 2017
    S&P 500: -0.23%
    Trump, now president, signs two executive orders. One calls
for tighter tariff enforcement in anti-subsidy and anti-dumping
trade cases. The other orders a review of U.S. trade deficits
and their causes.

    April 7, 2017
    S&P 500: -0.08%
    At their first meeting at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in
Florida, Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agree to a
100-day plan for trade talks.

    July 19, 2017
    S&P 500: +0.54%
    The two sides fail to agree on new steps to reduce the U.S.
deficit with China after the 100 days of talks.

    Aug. 14, 2017
    S&P 500: +1.00%
    Trump orders "Section 301" probe into alleged Chinese
intellectual property theft, described as his first direct trade
measure against Beijing. 

    Jan. 17, 2018
    S&P 500: +0.94%
    Trump, in a Reuters interview, threatens a big "fine" on
China over alleged IP theft, without providing details.

    Jan. 22, 2018
    S&P 500: +0.81%
    Trump imposes tariffs on all imported washing machines and
solar panels - not just those from China.

    March 8, 2018
    S&P 500: +0.45%
    Trump orders 25% tariffs on steel imports and 10% on
aluminum from all suppliers - not just China.

    April 2, 2018
    S&P 500: -2.23%
    China imposes tariffs of up to 25% on 128 U.S. products.

    April 3, 2018
    S&P 500: +1.26%
    Trump unveils plans for 25% tariffs on about $50 billion of
Chinese imports.

    April 4, 2018
    S&P 500: +1.16%
    China responds with plans for retaliatory tariffs on about
$50 billion of U.S. imports.

    June 15, 2018
    S&P 500: -0.10%
    The United States sets an effective date of July 6 for 25%
levies on $34 billion of Chinese imports. It says 25% tariffs
will also kick in on an additional $16 billion of goods after a
public comment period. China responds in kind with tariffs on
$34 billion of U.S. goods.

    July 10, 2018
    S&P 500: +0.35%
    The United States unveils plans for 10% tariffs on $200
billion of Chinese imports.

    Aug. 1, 2018
    S&P 500: -0.10%
    Trump orders USTR to increase the tariffs on $200 billion of
Chinese imports to 25% from the originally proposed 10%.

    Aug. 7, 2018
    S&P 500: +0.28%
    The United States releases the list of $16 billion of
Chinese goods to be subject to 25% tariffs. China retaliates
with 25% duties on $16 billion of U.S. goods.

    Aug. 23, 2018
    S&P 500: -0.17%
    Tariffs on goods appearing on the Aug. 7 lists from both the
United States and China take effect.

    Sept. 7, 2018
    S&P 500: -0.22%
    Trump threatens tariffs on $267 billion more of Chinese

    Sept. 24, 2018
    S&P 500: -0.35%
    The United States implements 10% tariffs on $200 billion of
Chinese imports. The administration says the rate will increase
to 25% on Jan. 1, 2019. China answers with duties of its own on
$60 billion of U.S. goods.

    Dec. 1, 2018
    S&P 500: +1.09% (Monday, Dec. 3)
    The United States and China agree on a 90-day halt to new
tariffs. Trump agrees to put off the Jan. 1 scheduled increase
on tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods until early March
while talks between the two countries take place. China agrees
to buy a "very substantial" amount of U.S. products.

    Feb. 24, 2019
    S&P 500: +0.12% (Monday, Feb 25)
    Trump extends the March 1 deadline, leaving the tariffs on
$200 billion of Chinese goods at 10% on an open-ended basis.

    May 5, 2019
    S&P 500: -0.45% (Monday, May 6)
    Trump tweets that he intends to raise the tariffs rate on
$200 billion of Chinese goods to 25% on May 10.
    May 8, 2019
    S&P 500: -0.16%
    The Trump administration gives formal notice of its intent
to raise tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports to 25% from
10%, effective May 10.              
    Earlier, Reuters reported that China had backtracked on
almost all aspects of a draft U.S.-China trade pact.
    June 18, 2019
    S&P 500: +0.97%
    Trump and Xi speak by phone, and the two sides agree to
rekindle trade talks ahead of a planned meeting between the two
leaders scheduled for the Group of 20 (G20) summit in Japan at
the end of June.

    June 29, 2019
    S&P 500: +0.77% (Monday, July 1)
    At the G20 meeting in Osaka, the United States and China
formally agree to restart trade talks after concessions from
both sides. Trump agrees to no new tariffs and an easing of
restrictions on Chinese telecom powerhouse Huawei Technologies
Co Ltd         . China agrees to unspecified new purchases of
U.S. farm products.
    Aug. 1, 2019
    S&P 500: -0.90% 
    After two days of trade talks with no visible progress and
complaints by Trump that China has failed to keep a promise to
buy more U.S. farm products, he announces 10% tariffs on $300
billion worth of Chinese imports, in addition to the 25% already
levied on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods.
    Aug. 5, 2019
    S&P 500: -2.98%
China's Commerce Ministry responds to the latest U.S. tariffs by
halting purchases of U.S. agricultural products, and the Chinese
currency, the yuan, weakens past the key seven per dollar level,
sending equity markets sharply lower.             
    After U.S. markets close, the U.S. Treasury says it has
determined for the first time since 1994 that China is
manipulating its currency, knocking the U.S. dollar sharply
lower and sending gold prices to a six-year high.             
    Aug. 13, 2019
    S&P500: +1.5%
    Trump delays more than half of his 10% tariffs on the $300
billion goods list until Dec. 15, sparing cell phones, laptop
computers, toys and other major consumer categories from
immediate tariffs. He says this was to avoid pain for consumers
and retailers during the Christmas selling season. But 10%
tariffs on about $125 billion worth of other Chinese goods,
including smart speakers, bluetooth headphones and many types of
footwear, take effect on Sept. 1
    Aug. 23, 2019
    S&P 500: -0.1%
    China announces it will impose additional retaliatory
tariffs against about $75 billion worth of U.S. goods, putting
as much as an extra 10% on top of existing rates in response to
the U.S. tariffs announced earlier in August.
    Sept. 20, 2019
    S&P 500: -0.53%
    A two-day meeting of U.S. and Chinese deputies, the first
in-person talks in nearly two months, ends with Chinese
officials canceling a planned visit to U.S. farming regions at
the Trump administration's request. But both sides describe the
talks as "productive" and agree to keep talking.
    The same day, USTR issues tariff exclusions on about 400
Chinese products, from dog collars to printed circuit boards for
computer graphics processors - a move widely seen as a goodwill
    Sept. 23, 2019
    S&P 500: -0.01%
    Chinese companies the following monday buy about 600,000
tonnes of U.S. soybeans, resuming modest purchases started
earlier in September that would reach 3.5 million tonnes by
early October -- about 10% of China's annual pre-trade war
    Oct. 7
    S&P 500: -0.46%
    The U.S. Commerce Department puts 28 Chinese companies on
its "entity list," largely banning U.S. firms from selling to
them, over their alleged involvement in human rights abuses
against Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang. China denounces the move as
interference in Chinese sovereignty. Chinese officials later say
the move hurts the atmosphere surrounding trade talks.   
    Oct. 10
    S&P 500 open: -0.066%
    High level delegates from China and the U.S. meet in
Washington for two days of talks.     

 (Compiled by Dan Burns, Jonas Ekblom and Andrea Shalal; Editing
by Andrea Ricci)
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