WASHINGTON — The world's two biggest economies have fired the opening shots in a trade war that could have wide-ranging consequences for consumers, workers, companies, investors and political leaders.

With the United States slapping a 25 percent tax on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports starting Friday, China was set to hit back with taxes on an equal amount of U.S. products, including soybeans, lobsters, sport-utility vehicles and whiskey.

The United States accuses China of using predatory tactics in a push to supplant U.S. technological dominance. The tactics include forcing American companies to hand over technology in exchange for access to the Chinese market, as well as outright cyber-theft. Trump's tariffs are meant to pressure Beijing to reform its trade policies.