China vows to fight US 'at any cost' as trade spat worsens

Men are refelcted in a screen displaying market indices outside a brokerage in Tokyo

China vows to fight US 'at any cost' as trade spat worsens

"If China shows its willingness to impose tariffs on crude, it will send a shock wave through markets", said Min Byungkyu, a global strategist at the brokerage.

"We understand some big-picture concern but it appears to us that the specific proposals from China this morning are calibrated carefully to avoid a major impact on Boeing and are therefore intended more as a message to the USA administration that additional trade barriers will be met with an escalating response", said JPMorgan analyst Seth Seifman.

The measures are created to protect U.S. businesses from Chinese intellectual property theft. Euro zone government bond yields also dipped as the trade dispute between the United States and China flared. In the past, Trump has repeatedly referred to cybertheft and a Chinese rule that forces US companies to hand over proprietary technology if they seek to gain access to the Chinese market.

Trump said late Thursday that he was considering tariffs on $100 billion more in Chinese exports, which would triple what the United States is already planning.

China says it will levy an additional 25 percent tariff on imports of 106 US products including soybeans, automobiles, chemicals and aircraft, in response to proposed American duties on its high-tech goods.

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"As no one came out to pull this back, there was a gradual realization that this was something that might be a little more serious", said Brad McMillan, chief investment officer for Commonwealth Financial Network. Worries about a potential trade war have rippled through farm states, which are a powerful voting bloc in November's congressional elections. In light of China's unfair retaliation, I have instructed the USTR to consider whether $100 billion of additional tariffs would be appropriate under section 301 and, if so, to identify the products upon which to impose such tariffs.

"Trump's experience in the business world could have contributed to his aggressive tactics in handling foreign policy issues, Chinese political analysts explained".

The U.S. shipped $14.6 billion of soybeans to China, its biggest buyer, in the last marketing year - more than a third of the entire crop. The sales of South Korean auto brands Hyundai and Kia also plunged in China as state-run media helped whip up anti-South Korean sentiment. The muted drop follows a roller-coaster week for investors thanks to the tit-for-tat tariffs exchanged between Beijing and Washington.

Reactions are most furious in Europe where Trump's announcement triggers a sharp backlash, including threats of retaliation.

Aberdeen's Wolf said Chinese authorities could make life hard for American companies operating on its turf by using selective enforcement of regulations, such as fire codes and food safety, as a means to shutter parts of their operations. Large numbers of Chinese citizens work in assembly plants for Apple products or in Starbucks stores across the country.

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Trump tweeted Friday: "Despite the Aluminum Tariffs, Aluminum prices are DOWN 4%".

They said: "Importantly, these threatened tariffs will be subject to negotiation, and therefore shouldn't be considered as final". Additional tariffs only add fuel to the fire and create an environment of one-upmanship that will not solve the problem we are trying to fix.

Experts say there are some steps that China could theoretically take to punish the United States that are too risky to consider. The administration will hold a public hearing for USA businesses on May 15th.

The U.S. decision to use tariffs as a means of addressing trade grievances is reverberating beyond the relationship with China.

Investors worry that if China purchases fewer Treasuries, the US government would have to find alternative buyers.

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