JOHN WHELAN: How the US-China trade war hits Ireland

The latest flare-up in the US-China trade war, heralded by what we now expect as the norm by way of a tweet from US president Donald Trump, was as unexpected as it was pointless.

Businesses across the US are being disrupted; US consumers are already paying more for their goods from the earlier round of tit-for-tat tariff increases; and now the weekend marked a further escalation.

US importers now face higher costs; US manufacturers in China face challenges in getting their goods back to their home market; while Chinese exporters have to pay a 25% tariff on good sold to US buyers.

The target of the White House with its latest penal tariffs include much of the electronic gear used in data centres but also extends to many consumer gadgets ranging from Apple phones and watches to electronic vehicles, which all use semiconductors as the core part of the devices.

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