How Trump's trade war and tweets are unsettling the economy

Containers are transferred at a port in Qingdao in China's eastern Shandong province.-/AFP  Getty Images

US President Donald Trump says he has "hereby ordered" American companies to leave China, after Beijing announced plans to slap new tariffs on US goods.

"It's impossible for businesses to plan for the future in this type of environment", said David French, senior vice president of government relations at the National Retail Federation.

US-made mango juice, electric buses and chemical products face 10 percent duties come mid-December while smaller aircraft, hand pumps and bearings will be hit with 5 percent taxes.

The United States and China exchanged blows Friday as each side increased punitive tariffs on the other, intensifying a trade war that is threatening to engulf the global economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 643 points - before Trump announced the new tariffs. The Dow dropped nearly 360 points, or 1.4%, to 25,894, while the broader S&P 500 and tech-heavy Nasdaq each fell more than 1%.

London's FTSE 100 and the German DAX also turned negative.

"China's announcement of imposing additional tariffs on $75 billion of US imports signals more trouble for American agriculture".

The tariff hikes by the US "have led to the continuous escalation of China-US economic and trade frictions, violating the consensus reached by the two heads of state in Argentina and the consensus reached in Osaka", China's State Council Tariff Commission Office said in a statement. In 2018, BMW exported about 87,000 luxury SUVs to China from a plant near Spartanburg, S.C. It exports more vehicles to China than any other USA auto plant. "Our Country has been losing HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year to China, with no end in sight", the president wrote. The S&P 500 slid 2.6% to close at 2,847.11.

"China's imposition of tariffs is a forced response to the unilateralism and trade protectionism of the United States", said the Communist Party-run Global Times. China will also tag beef and pork from the United States with an extra 10% tariff. "I will be responding to China's Tariffs this afternoon".

Among U.S. goods targeted by Beijing's latest tariffs were soybeans, which will be hit with an extra 5% tariff starting September 1. "We can't let that happen to American workers again".

China on Friday announced plans to unleash two swaths of tariffs on American exports, the first to hit on September 1 and the second on December 15 - the same day that the Trump administration has threatened to launch its own duties, which the president said he delayed to avoid raising prices on American consumers during the holiday shopping season.

It's unclear what legal authority Trump would be able to use to compel US companies to close operations in China or stop sourcing products from the country. Investors are certainly watching trade tensions closely.

He also said the Fed - the world's most powerful central bank - did not have a "rulebook" to deal with the fallout.

A meeting on trade was taking place at midday in the Oval Office at the White House, according to people familiar with the discussions.

He said that talks between the two countries were on schedule and argued that the tariffs were not hurting Americans. Powell in his speech said the US economy is in a favourable place but faces "significant risks" as growth overseas slows amid trade uncertainty.

He added that the economic slowdown was the fault of the US Federal Reserve, which has drawn criticism from Mr Trump for not making bigger cuts in interest rates.

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