Trump's latest tariff threat draws retaliation warning from China

Scott Sinklier  Newscom

Donald Trump's threat to impose tariffs on another $200 billion of Chinese imports could cut as much as half a percentage point from the nation's economic growth, according to economists. The Chinese Commerce Ministry released a statement saying, "If the United States loses its sense and publishes such a list, China will have to take comprehensive quantitative and qualitative measures and retaliate forcefully". The Chinese government is becoming increasingly impatient, speaking of "extreme pressure and blackmail".

That happened after the US President gave some clues about the possibility for introducing new tariffs on the US $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. China responded with levies valued at an equal amount on American-made imports.

Chinese stocks fell nearly four per cent and alarm bells rang across global markets on Tuesday, as trade tensions between the United States and China escalated further.

The Canadian government believes a deal to update NAFTA is still possible despite a USA move to impose tariffs on Canadian and Mexican steel and aluminum, Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said in Ottawa on Tuesday.

Initially, 545 USA products valued at $34bn will be targeted by China, mimicking the Trump administration's tariff rollout.

"In the global environment - and due in particular to this trade issue - the risks are more on the downward side and a little bit worrying", European Central Bank policymaker Jan Smets said in a CNBC interview.

Navarro reiterated Washington's accusations that China had used a string of unfair practices - cyber-theft, state-sponsored corporate acquisitions, forced technology transfers and export restrictions - to target global dominance in advanced new industrial sectors. Once the U.S. Treasury identifies the relevant Chinese goods, officials will conduct a two- or three-month public comment process, meaning the duties could come into force as early as October.

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"The collateral damage from an escalating U.S".

In an editorial, the English language China Daily, often used by Beijing to get its message out to the rest of the world, said the United States had failed to honor an agreement on rebalancing trade, referencing a deal stuck in May for China to significantly increase purchases of US goods and services.

Volume on USA exchanges was 7.12 billion shares, compared to the 6.95 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days. "Basically it is not good news". The outcome: Higher prices for consumers worldwide. "China relationship", Mr. Navarro told reporters, citing the trade imbalance and China's campaign to acquire USA technology "by any means necessary". The state exports about 40 percent of its soybeans, most going to China. The trade tensions have also raised concerns over a possible decline in energy demand. It injected another 200 billion yuan ($31 billion) into the economy via its medium-term lending facility on Tuesday, pushing its net injections so far in June to the most in any month since December 2016. "The reforms are needed for China to maintain stable and sustainable growth". The president said the move was in retaliation to Beijing's decision to impose tariffs on $50 billion in US goods, matching the first set of tariffs imposed by Trump. A counter punch was swift in coming, with a statement from Beijing on Friday night that it would "strike back forcefully".

Trump, speaking to a gathering of small business owners in Washington, is railing again against the North American Free Trade Agreement, saying the USA can no longer afford to be the "stupid country".

Shares of Chinese telecom giant ZTE fell 24.8 percent in Hong Kong after the U.S. Senate sought to restore a ban that prevents the company from buying U.S. components for seven years.

FILE - China's President Xi Jinping speaks at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Jan. 17, 2017. Oxford Economics estimates that if Trump imposed the $200 billion in tariffs and China responded in kind, US growth could slow by 0.3 percentage point next year.

"All they can do is impose higher tariffs on a smaller subset of products", he said.

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