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06 July 2018, 12:39 | Austin Hogan
The European Union Mexico and Canada have all the hit U.S. with billions in retaliatory tariffs
That would begin an unprecedented commerce battle between the world's two largest economies - a conflict analysts fear could rattle markets, cripple trade, and undermine ties between the United States and China at a time when the administration seeks Beijing's cooperation on North Korea.
Trump has threatened to impose new taxes on up to $416 billion worth of goods in coming months if China doesn't meet his trade demands.
Economists have for months warned of the potential damage to the United States and global economies from aggressive trade policies that evolve into protectionism, which would raise prices and upend global supply chains.
China is expected to retaliate as soon as the U.S. tariffs go into effect, imposing duties on goods worth roughly the same amount but with a greater emphasis on politically sensitive agricultural products.
"All we can do is adjust our supply chain here depending on the size of the price increases".
Friday is the deadline for the United States to impose sweeping tariffs on Chinese goods and China has promised to retaliate with tariffs of its own if the U.S. does follow through with its threat.
At a separate press briefing on Thursday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said that China stood with the rest of the world in opposition to unilateral trade actions and would do what is necessary to protect its interests.
"China will not bow down in the face of threats and blackmail and will not falter from its determination to defend free trade and the multilateral system", the spokesperson added. Ambassador Richard Grenell reportedly told representatives from Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW about a US proposal to reduce all auto tariffs.
"Escalating tariffs against the United States does nothing to help Canada".
Chinese stocks have taken a beating in recent weeks, entering a bear market, as concerns about the trade-war have mingled with worries about how an ongoing debt-control campaign will feed through into the outlook for economic growth.
Some prominent Chinese experts say Beijing may have miscalculated the pain the USA tariffs could inflict on export manufacturers' already razor-thin margins, and overplayed its hand.
The US is under pressure to take on China while it still has the chance with some opposing Democrats even telling the Republican President Trump that a failure to curb China's $13 trillion economy and rapidly expanding wealth and growing global influence.
After months of simmering tension between the world's two largest economies, the USA looks poised to impose tariffs on US$34 billion worth of Chinese goods on Friday.
Chinese President Xi Jinping invoked this financial commitment at a meeting with USA and European executives in June, telling the room, "We punch back", according to one person familiar with the discussion.
In the latest sign that the risk of penalties is hitting trade, a vessel carrying USA coal and heading for China was diverted on Wednesday to Singapore.
"Washington can not contain China's growth through a trade war", read the headline of an editorial Thursday in the Global Times, a party newspaper. Later in the day, traders will get the minutes from last month's Federal Reserve meeting when it raised USA rates for a second time this year.
"I'm afraid not, for now", said Tu Xinquan, a trade expert at Beijing's University of International Business and Economics, who has advised the Chinese government.
Here are the top 10 countries most at risk in the event of an all-out global trade war.
"While the Trump administration is anxious about gains and losses, Chinese people have unfaltering confidence in China's future".
A U.S. industry source said: "There is a 99 per cent chance that tariffs go into force on Friday".
Beijing has threatened to retaliate by raising its own tariffs on American goods, but a Commerce Ministry spokesman said Chinese authorities will wait to see what Washington does.
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