China vows to 'fight back' after U.S. threaten $200bn tariffs on goods

Beijing described the latest US move as “totally unacceptable” bullying and urged other countries to join China to protect free trade and multilateralism. — Reuters pic

Beijing described the latest US move as “totally unacceptable” bullying and urged other countries to join China to protect free trade and multilateralism. — Reuters pic

Zenglein added: "When dealing with the U.S. it is clear that they [China] are more vulnerable and so that forces them to take a different approach". "I think most investors are looking at this trade war and thinking 'it's not going to happen, '" said Michael Diaz, head of foreign exchange at XE.

Senate Finance Committee chair Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) also took aim at the announced list, saying it "appears reckless and is not a targeted approach".

"Judging from (China's) economic fundamentals and corporate earnings expectations, which are under pressure amid the trade war with the United States, the stock market is yet to reach a bottom", said Yan Kaiwen, an analyst with China Fortune Securities.

China and the USA face a wider trade war, after Beijing vowed on Wednesday to retaliate over Washington's threat to impose $200bn in additional tariffs on Chinese goods.

"For over a year, the Trump Administration has patiently urged China to stop its unfair practices, open its market, and engage in true market competition", Lighthizer said.

The USTR, the federal agency that oversees worldwide trade policy and negotiations, said it was responding to Beijing's decision to retaliate instead of changing its policies.

The new list-targeted at China's key manufacturing export industries-contains over 6,000 products, including fruits, vegetables, live eels, feathers and beaver heads as well as hi-tech minerals that the US needs.

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Many European companies would suffer because they both produce and sell goods in the USA and China, the world's biggest economies. The impact is already being felt in the markets. "Our position remains consistent and very clear", he added.

Instead of giving in, however, China hit back with dollar-for-dollar retaliatory tariffs on USA products.

The Trump administration said the new levies are a response to China's decision to retaliate against the first round of USA tariffs.

The goal is to bring the total amount of Chinese imports up to 40 percent of the total imported from the Asian power, since the US products hit by Beijing's retaliation represent that share of exports, an official told reporters in a conference call. "It will also result in retaliatory tariffs, further hurting American workers", a Chamber spokeswoman said.

USA officials released a list of 6,031 Chinese product lines the administration wants to hit with the new tariffs, including hundreds of food products as well as tobacco, chemicals, coal, steel and aluminum. "Unfortunately, China has not changed its behaviour - behaviour that puts the future of the United States economy at risk".

"Tariffs on such a broad scope of products make it inconceivable that American consumers will dodge this tax increase as prices of everyday products will be forced to rise", he said. President Donald Trump has threatened higher tariffs on more than $500 billion of goods, or almost all of China's annual exports to the United States.

"None of this has produced a dramatic change in other countries and has yielded further retaliation", Mr. Holleyman wrote in an e-mail.

Chinese tariffs have already taken a toll on USA exports such as soybeans, which raises questions about the possible political repercussions President Trump could face from farmers who supported him in the 2016 election.

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