China stocks face 'darkest hour' after fresh Trump tariff threat

Trump escalates China trade war with extra tariffs

China's commerce ministry said Beijing will fight back with "qualitative" and "quantitative" measures if the United States publishes an additional list of tariffs on Chinese goods.

Slapping tariffs on $200 billion more in goods, in addition to the $34 billion already set, would likely mean that nearly all Chinese products would face some import tax-though this depends on whether or not the new tariffs are on goods already taxed.

The 25 percent tariff will be applied to $50 billion of goods from China that "contain industrially significant technologies", he said.

Washington and Beijing appeared increasingly headed toward open trade conflict after negotiations failed to resolve U.S. complaints over Chinese industrial policies, their lack of market access in China and a $US375 billion U.S. trade deficit.

Trump announced tariffs on Friday on $50 billion of Chinese imports, including cars, starting on July 6. "This is unacceptable. Further action must be taken to encourage China to change its unfair practices, open its market to United States goods, and accept a more balanced trade relationship". "It is very unfortunate that instead of eliminating these unfair trading practices, China said that it intends to impose unjustified tariffs targeting US workers, farmers, ranchers and businesses".

Trump added that if Beijing hit back at this latest manoeuvre, the USA would find another $200 billion worth of goods to impose tariffs on.

China's Commerce Ministry on Tuesday criticized the latest threat of tariffs, saying it was an "act of extreme pressure and blackmail that deviates from the consensus reached by both parties after many negotiations, and is a disappointment to the global community".

Gary Cohn, Trump's former top economic adviser, said last week that a "tariff battle" could result in price inflation and consumer debt - "historic ingredients for an economic slowdown".

These include major American exports to China such as soybeans, which brought in $14 billion in sales previous year and are grown in states that supported Trump during the 2016 presidential election.

Chinese stocks fell nearly 4 per cent and alarm bells rang across global markets on Tuesday, as the trade dispute between the United States and China escalated further.

The Canadian dollar weakened to a one-year low of C$ 1.3237 overnight, before paring some of its losses, as investors anxious about Canada's trade feud with the United States.

Trump once again lauded his "excellent relationship" with communist leader Xi Jinping and vowed they "will continue working together on many issues".

U.S. tariffs that affect more than 800 Chinese products worth $34bn in annual trade are due to come into effect on 6 July.

"Asian currencies and stocks are feeling most of the impact compared to Europe but that could quickly change if this escalates", said fund manager Constantin Bolz of German-based wealth management firm Portfolio Concept. That means things like tourism and education, industries from which the United States benefits a lot more than China does.

China has hiked its list of USA goods on which it said it would slap tariffs six-fold from a version released in April, but the value was kept at $50 billion, as some high-value items such as commercial aircraft were deleted.

The US "practice of extreme pressure and blackmail departed from the consensus reached by both sides during multiple negotiations and has also greatly disappointed global society", China's commerce ministry said in a statement on its website. "Not due to announcements", he said.



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