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U.S., China impose trade sanctions

China reportedly retaliated to U.S. trade sanctions imposed over alleged piracy.

The United States and China began what appears to be a brewing trade war today as the Clinton administration announced sanctions over alleged piracy of U.S. goods and China responded with counter-sanctions, according to the Associated Press.

The United States alleges that roughly $2.3 billion of U.S. music, compact discs, and CD-ROM software has been pirated by Chinese businesses and individuals. The sanctions levy punitive tariffs of 100 percent or more on $3 billion of Chinese textiles, chiefly silk, and electronics goods including answering machines, fax machines, and cellular phones.

Beijing's sanctions target a range of goods from vegetable oils to cars, but no dollar figure was attached to the tariffs.

Chinese officials were given a chance to dispute the allegations at recent meetings in Beijing but, according to the AP report, failed to persuade the U.S. to reconsider imposing sanctions. The Chinese government has to mid-June to appeal the U.S. sanctions before they take effect.

The U.S. government wants the Beijing government to enforce a 1995 agreement to crack down on piracy within Chinese borders.

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