After targeting US farms, China can strike America's shale

American shale fields could end up hit by Chinese tariffs should a trade war between the two countries escalate.

Photo: /ritzau/AP/Mark Schiefelbein

China's tariffs in one corner of the energy market signal US shale fields may follow the nation's farms as a target if a trade war escalates.

Beijing on Wednesday took aim at America's rural heartland by proposing levies on politically sensitive farm commodities such as soybeans, which were among 106 US products targeted. The list also included petrochemicals and liquefied propane, indicating that the world's biggest oil buyer is willing to use energy as a weapon to retaliate against planned American duties on its high-tech goods.

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