Markets edgy on US-China trade war fears

(BBC) – Stock markets have been hit by fears that US President Donald Trump’s plan for tariffs on up to $60bn of Chinese products could trigger a trade war.

Japan’s Nikkei share index fell 4.5% and in the US the Dow Jones sank 2.9%.

China responded to news of the planned tariffs by saying that while it did not want a trade war, it was “absolutely not afraid” of one.

Mr Trump’s proposed tariffs are a response to allegations of intellectual property theft by China.

The US launched a complaint against China at the World Trade Organization (WTO) on Friday.

Its statement said: “China appears to be breaking WTO rules by denying foreign patent holders, including US companies, basic patent rights to stop a Chinese entity from using the technology after a licensing contract ends.”

“China also appears to be breaking WTO rules by imposing mandatory adverse contract terms that discriminate against and are less favourable for imported foreign technology.”

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