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07 April 2018, 10:00 | Marta Robbins
But late Thursday, Trump ordered the U.S. Trade Representative to consider placing more tariffs on Chinese imports. Beijing fired back hours later by threatening tariffs on $50 billion worth of United States goods, including cars, planes and soybeans.
The US on Tuesday published a list of US$50 billion in Chinese imports set to be hit by US tariffs.
Many economists say investors shouldn't assume that this tit-for-tat is the start of a prolonged and destructive trade fight between the world's two biggest economic superpowers.
Trump's attitude towards the trade war with the Chinese government is basically that the United States already has a massive $500 billion #Trade Deficit, so it doesn't matter.
China will continue reforms and promote trade and investment liberalization, he said.
Investors were also reacting to the latest payrolls report, which showed the USA economy added a lower-than-expected number of jobs in March.
Said National Retail Federation President and CEO Matthew Shay: "These tit-for-tat trade actions could spell disaster for the US economy and make it harder for Americans across the country to afford everyday products and basic necessities".
USA manufacturing giants that sell products in China, such as Apple, Boeing, Caterpillar, General Motors and Intel, are also expected to take a hit if China follows through on its threats.
The products on the latest USA list include heavy machinery, motorcycles and high-tech items, such as semiconductors and batteries.
The latest actions risk putting the countries "on a slippery slope towards a trade war", they said.
When queried on whether the U.S. tariffs against the People's Republic of China were only a negotiating ploy, the top adviser to Trump, Lawrence Kudlow admitted that it is part of the process.
US stocks closed sharply lower Friday as Wall Street reacted to the latest escalation in the trade fight between the USA and China.
So far, only the tariffs on steel and aluminum have taken effect, but Trump'slatest threats take the dispute to a new level: China can not retaliate in kind since it only imports $130 billion in U.S. products, meaning it would have to find another way to respond.
The U.S. companies most at risk include Boeing, which past year sold one-fourth of its commercial airplanes to China, and several auto makers. The soy tariffs ultimately could drive up costs on Chinese pig farmers and meat prices among 1.3 billion citizens.
The proposed tariffs jolted the global markets on Friday.
US President Donald 's top trade adviser blamed the markets for not reacting to the "unbelievable" strength of the American leader's economic agenda. And China has included soybeans on its list of 106 products that would be hit by retaliatory tariffs.
In response to threats of additional tariffs, China's Commerce Ministry says Beijing will not hesitate to keep matching any future tariffs with their own. In theory, this boosts the economy of the country imposing tariffs. The move came in response to United States levies on Chinese goods. "But if someone insists on fighting a trade war, we will be there". He cites concerns with China stealing American intellectual property.
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