Trump Threatens China With Additional Tariffs Worth $100 Billion

Clay Curtis
April 8, 2018

But some USA markets already have responded to the trade spat with higher prices and tighter supplies even though the largest of the retaliatory duties have yet to take effect.

"We Chinese won't pick fights, but if someone picks a fight, we'll resolutely meet them head on", Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesperson Gao Feng said at a press conference late on Friday in Beijing.

"We export a lot of agricultural products to China", Titman said.

China has chosen its targets for retaliatory tariff well.

Trump tweeted moments later, criticizing the World Trade Organization and suggesting it's "unfair" to the U.S.

The developments jolted global markets.

USA markets reacted negatively on the news with the Dow Jones Industrial Average showing an implied open down more than 400 points. The Dow ended the day roughly 1 percent higher, while the Nasdaq and S&P increased 1.45 percent and 1.16 percent, respectively.

On Tuesday, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative unveiled additional 25 percent tariffs on about 1,300 products from China as part of efforts to counter what it sees as unfair Chinese trade and investment practices. The Chinese list Wednesday included soybeans, the biggest US export to China, and aircraft up to 45 tons (41 metric tons) in weight.

In a related case, the ITC found in January that USA manufacturers were being harmed by imports of tool chests from China that the Commerce Department had found were subsidized, locking in place countervailing duties. It said the country would not rule out any options.

Trump's surprise move Thursday to instruct the usa trade representative to consider the additional tariffs came a day after Beijing announced plans to tax $50 billion United States in American products, including soybeans and small aircraft, in response to a usa move this week to slap tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese imports.

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On Thursday, Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska accused Trump of not have a realistic plan for reining in China's trade problems.

Trump's surprise directive Thursday came a day after Beijing announced plans to tax $50 billion in American products, including soybeans and small aircraft, in response to a USA move this week to slap tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese imports.

The tariffs would have consequences for a wide swath of American consumers and businesses.

The measures are created to protect USA businesses from Chinese intellectual property theft.

Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said China remains open to talks, "but the opportunity for consultation and negotiation has been missed by the United States side time and again".

Despite Beijing's repeated warnings that it would proportionally respond to any United States moves, and its calls for negotiations to avoid an escalation of a trade war, Donald Trump on Thursday made a decision to adopt a harsher policy.

A tariff, in plain terms, is a tax on goods coming into a country.

In response, China has vowed to target key USA exports, including soybeans.

The idea of a tariff is to push up the price of foreign goods to make the domestic alternative more attractive.

"I'm not saying there won't be a little pain", Trump said Friday during an interview on 77 WABC Radio' "Bernie & Sid in the Morning" programme.

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