Speed Reading — Trade War - Level 3 — 300 wpm

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The world is waiting to see if a trade war breaks out between the USA and China. Stock markets in Asia did badly in Friday's trading because investors are worried about U.S. President Donald Trump's plans to hit Chinese companies with trade tariffs. A tariff is a tax a country puts on goods and services coming in from other countries. President Trump has warned China he will issue tariffs on up to $60 billion of Chinese imports. China said it would issue its own tariffs in reply to Mr Trump. Tokyo's Nikkei share index fell by more than 4 per cent on Friday, Shanghai's market was down more than 3 per cent, and stocks and shares in Seoul fell by 3 per cent. There was also a fall on New York's Wall Street stock exchange.

Experts on world trade are worried that the import tariffs could be the start of a global trade war. Trade researcher Robert Carnell said: "If the tariffs go ahead as planned, then we believe China will retaliate. It is impossible to imagine that they cannot. And then we expect the U.S. to retaliate further. This can turn ugly on a global scale very quickly." President Trump says he wants to protect U.S. workers and companies. Mr Trump is not happy with the trade imbalance between the USA and China. Experts believe that the USA buys $385 billion more goods from China than China buys from the USA. Trump wants to try and reduce this imbalance by at least $100 billion with his tariffs.

Comprehension questions
  1. How did stock markets do in Asia on Friday?
  2. What is the name of a tax put on imports?
  3. What is the value of Chinese goods Mr Trump wants to put tariffs on?
  4. By how much did the Nikkei fall on Friday?
  5. In which non-Asian stock market was there a fall in share prices?
  6. What does Robert Carnell believe China will do if the US uses tariffs?
  7. How did a researcher say things could turn?
  8. Who does President Trump want to protect?
  9. What is the value of the trade imbalance between the USA and China?
  10. By how much does President Trump want to reduce the trade imbalance?

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