Fear Spreads Across Texas Oilfield as U.S. China Trade War Escalates

WASHINGTON – Another round of tariffs by the Chinese government Oilfield1 Shop Monday sparked fears from Wall Street to the Texas farmland that an escalating trade fight between the United States and China threatened to damage the global economy.

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After President Donald Trump hiked tariffs last week on $200 billion in Chinese goods, China fired back Monday saying it would raise tariffs on $60 billion in U.S. goods. The prospect of a prolonged trade war between the world’s two largest economies sent global financial markets reeling.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 were both down more than 2 percent by Monday’s close, with Texas companies including Cheniere Energy, Schlumberger and Westlake Chemical recording deeper drops.

As China’s economy opened up over the past few decades, its importance in the Houston economy has grown. Twenty years ago there were just $1.1 billion worth of goods traded between Houston and China – that number has swelled to more than $20 billion today, according to the Greater Houston Partnership. Today, China is Houston’s second-biggest foreign trading partner behind Mexico, the partnership reports.

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