As news broke of the United States’ installment of import tariffs on Chinese iron and steel products in the amount of a whopping 50%, China immediately retaliated with tariffs of the same amount on American soybeans, cotton, and pork. The South Korean Delegation, currently under new leadership, changed its neutral course and steered right into the action. After reorienting itself, the Republic of Korea imposed import tariffs of 15% on Chinese electronics, steel, and machinery, much in favor of its American allies.
While the two trade giants clashed, others managed to find common ground: Japan and Brazil have now presented an agreement that gives Japan access to Brazilian mining and agricultural products. Japan, in turn, will finance selected Brazilian infrastructure projects.