China was hitting back against U.S. President Donald Trump's plans to impose tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods with similar tariffs on U.S. goods even as Trump's top economic adviser Larry Kudlow said the administration was involved in a "negotiation" with China rather than a trade war.
Chinese state media had earlier yesterday criticized Trump's threat of more trade action as "ridiculous" after the USA president had directed trade officials to identify tariffs on US$100 billion more Chinese imports, escalating an already high-stakes trade dispute between the two nations.
Trump also said the US was "still prepared to have discussions in further support of our commitment to achieving free, fair, and reciprocal trade and to protect the technology and intellectual property of American companies and American people".
Stocks ended the week the way they began it: tumbling as investors worry that tariffs and harsh words between the US and China will touch off a trade war that derails the global economy.
Financial markets, roiled for days by the trade fight and Trump's management of it, whipsawed again on the new threat.
Crude oil prices fell after Trump's latest tariff proposal.
U.S. stock futures ESc1 slid 1% and the dollar dipped against other major currencies.DXY, while Asian shares flitted in and out of positive territory.
Foreign companies have long complained about Beijing's failure to protect know-how and patents, in some cases forcing firms to share information with domestic partners as the price for doing business in the massive Chinese market.More news: Trump conjures a new immigrant rape epidemic
The White House says Trump has instructed the Office of the United States Trade Representative to consider whether $100 billion of additional tariffs would be appropriate under section 301 and, if so, to identify which products they should apply to.
The threat is likely to heighten growing concerns that a full-blown trade war could erupt between the two countries.
Mr Trump's protectionist agenda is aimed at saving U.S. jobs and closing what he sees as a $504bn trade gap with China and deficits with other major economies.
"This latest intimidation reflects the deep arrogance of some American elites in their attitude towards China", the state-run Global Times said in an editorial.
On Tuesday, USTR proposed 25% tariffs on more than 1,300 Chinese industrial and other products from flat-panel televisions to electronic components.
China said Wednesday it would levy a 25 per cent tariff on about US$50 billion of United States imports including soybeans, automobiles, chemicals and aircraft. "China has chosen to harm our farmers and manufacturers", Trump's statement read.
Only a few thousand of the four million cars that General Motors Co. sells in China each year are imported from the USA, but Hyundai's experience illustrates that the locally made remainder could nonetheless be hit hard.
"This is the dumbest possible way to do this". In response, China on Sunday slapped tariffs on $3 billion on agricultural products from the US including hog parts, wine, fruit and nuts.More news: Record-breaking Aussies make waves in pool
"Electronics have always relied on the global market, so if the global market becomes a problem, it could affect China's 2025 initiative", he said.
Trump has demanded that China cut the trade gap by $100 billion.
"When you're already $500 Billion DOWN, you can't lose!" the president writes on Twitter, referring to the 2016 USA deficit in goods and services trade, which he has repeatedly pointed out.
China hits back with tariffs on US imports worth around $3 billion.
The exercise yields a broad list of potential targets, which is narrowed by considering the economic impact that tariffs would have on consumers at home. The administration later stressed that any additional tariffs first would be subject to a 60-day public comment period.
"If the USA side announces the list of products for $100 billion in tariffs, the Chinese side has fully prepared and will without hesitation counterattack with great strength", spokesman Gao Feng said. That development follows Trump's earlier pitch for $50 billion in tariffs on Chinese products.
The U.S. shipped $14.6 billion of soybeans to China, its biggest buyer, in the last marketing year - more than a third of the entire crop. Cellphones and computers, key portions of these categories, were spared from the initial tariffs list.
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