Trump Weighs Additional $100 Billion Tariffs on Chinese Imports

U.S. President Donald Trump gestures as he and Chinese President Xi Jinping walk after their meetings at Mar-a Lago in Palm Beach Fla. A year after Trump tried to disarm Xi at Mar-a Lago with smooth talk and hosp

The retaliatory tariffs ordered by Beijing this week targeted $50 billion worth of USA goods including key exports like soybeans, wheat, aircraft and chemical products created to hit the rural regions were Trump is particularly popular.

Financial markets, roiled for days by the trade fight and Trump's management of it, whipsawed again on the new threat. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude for May delivery was down 41 cents, or 0.65 percent, at 63.13 a barrel.

Administration officials have spent the past two days trying to tamp down fears of a trade war, with chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow saying on Thursday the United States could still hammer out a deal with Beijing.

"By fuelling uncertainty among market participants, fears of a "trade war" have added to the volatility already witnessed earlier this year in equity markets", Benoit Coeure, a member of the European Central Bank's executive board, said in Cernobbio, Italy.

Three-quarters of companies recently surveyed by the American Chamber of Commerce said they feel increasingly unwelcome in China.

China said it would counter US protectionism "to the end, and at any cost", as a war of words over President Donald Trump's proposed tariffs on Chinese imports escalated. The US farmers have a 37% share of global production, 60% of which is exported to China. Mnuchin says in the interview that US officials are in communication with the Chinese. China shot back with a list of similar duties on American imports including soybeans, planes, cars, beef and chemicals.

Meanwhile, the nationalist Global Times said in an editorial that the "Chinese are aware that the only option now is to hit the United States hard enough so that it will remember the pain".

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Friday that the Trump administration is talking with Chinese officials and is willing to negotiate to resolve the trade dispute.

"Under these conditions, the two sides can not conduct any negotiations on this issue", Gao said, without elaborating.

Even so, economists warned that the tit-for-tat moves bear the hallmarks of a classic trade rift that could escalate.

Seeking to tamp down alarm, he told reporters outside the White House, "so nothing's happened". He says those interests include protecting US farmers. But China said earlier Friday that that it would "counterattack with great strength".

Among sectors most affected by a trade war could be technology, particularly chipmakers.

It also remains to be seen if the dispute would trigger a nationalistic backlash. The Chinese response is politically targeted, listing products made in Republican-voting regions.

China's commerce ministry says the nation "will follow suit to the end and at any cost".

The US tariffs are aimed at forcing changes to Chinese government policies created to transfer US intellectual property to Chinese companies.

Any additional tariffs would be subject to a public comment process and would not go into effect until that process is complete.

The US and Chinese officials favour using "close communication" to avoid a full-blown trade war. "We're at a point where we had to do this".

Analysts added this would cut global economic growth to two-and-a-half percent 2019 from three percent.

"History and reality have repeatedly proved that economic globalisation has provided a strong impetus for the development of worldwide trade and economics", the newspaper said, adding that the United States was "one of the biggest beneficiaries" of this.

"We are on a risky downward spiral and American families will be on the losing end", Shay added in a statement, urging Trump "to stop playing a game of chicken with the U.S. economy".

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