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Fears of a trade war have been simmering in recent weeks, with Washington and Beijing exchanging tit-for-tat levies and threats of more duties on hundred of billions of dollars worth of goods.

China announced on Tuesday (April 17) temporary anti-dumping measures on U.S. sorghum, potentially hitting United States growers and exacerbating the brewing trade war between Beijing and Washington.

More than 80% of all US sorghum exports now goes to China, according to the US Grains Council, an industry group.

In a statement, China's Ministry of Commerce said the alleged USA dumping had caused "substantial damage" to China's domestic sorghum industry, according to an informal translation, and that the ministry had chose to implement "temporary anti-dumping measures" and collect a 178.6 percent deposit on US sorghum imports beginning on Wednesday.

The ministry launched the investigation in February in what many observers said was meant as a retaliation for the Trump administration's tariffs on Chinese solar panels and washing machines late past year.

Earlier this month, the Chinese commerce ministry threatened to impose a 25% duty on U.S. agricultural products, including soybeans, wheat, and beef, in response to the United States proposal to levy duties on Chinese high-tech goods.

The measures on sorghum, a grain used in animal feed and for making the fiery traditional Chinese liquor baijiu, target farm areas that voted for Trump in 2016. China is one of the biggest foreign markets for USA sorghum growers.

Meanwhile, the average price per tonne dropped 31 percent during the same period, which "caused a fall in prices of Chinese sorghum", Wang said.

Automakers had been waiting for details since President Xi Jinping announced in a speech last week that ownership restrictions would be eased and auto import duties reduced.

Analysts say the financial risk battle will take a toll on growth but China is counting on its 1.4 billion consumers to pick up the slack.

That will be followed by a similar repeal for makers of commercial vehicles in 2020 and passenger vehicles in 2022.

Automakers complied because they gained access to China's populous market, which passed the U.S.in 2009 as the world's biggest by number of vehicles sold.

Limits on foreign ownership of electric vehicle producers will be eliminated this year, the Cabinet's planning agency said. "More or less, Chinese brands already compete with them on a similar level in electric cars".