A series of decisions by the US to impose trade tariffs on its various key trade partners, including China, the European Union, India, Russia and the North American Free Trade Agreement signatory countries - Canada and Mexico - have pushed the world toward escalating trade protectionism amid rising retaliatory "tit-for-tat" tariffs as well as non-tariff measures.
The Asia-Pacific region is particularly vulnerable to such rising global trade protectionism given the high share of exports in the overall GDP of many East Asian economies.
The US government has decided to impose tariffs on various imports from its key trade partners, China being a main target. It has imposed punitive tariffs of 25 percent on Chinese goods worth $34 billion from July 6. China immediately retaliated with tariffs of 25 percent on an equivalent amount of US imports, targeting US agricultural products such as soybean, dairy products and beef as well as US-made autos and parts. Tariffs on additional $16 billion of imports from China are currently being considered by the US administration as part of its "investigation" under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974.