Tit-for-tat: China plans new tariff on U.S. goods

How much has US lost from China's IP theft?

USA stock futures traded lower after the S&P 500 Index closed down 2.5%, the biggest drop in six weeks.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index shed 2.5 percent, while Shanghai gave up a hefty 3.4 percent and Sydney fell 2.0 percent.

Chinese and American business groups on Friday called on the two governments to soothe frictions through dialogue and avoid a trade war.

Analysts said that traders were also spooked because China is the biggest buyer of USA government bonds, which the U.S. needs to sell to keep its economic wheels greased.

Business Roundtable said unilaterally imposing tariffs or other restrictions without a long-term strategy to bring about reforms in China will only raise prices in America, make American companies and products less competitive, and harm U.S. workers and consumers.

A deal for the latter will not come in the next 45 days before the yet-to-be published USA tariff list becomes effective.

In a ramping up of his America First ethos, Trump Thursday said he had ordered tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese imports as recompense for alleged intellectual property abuses.

'No use to anyone' The climbdown came as Trump announced new sanctions against China for what he called the theft of U.S. intellectual property - which Beijing has vowed to meet with tit-for-tat retaliation.

However, late Thursday, the Trump administration announced that additional countries would not face its steel and aluminum tariffs.

Capri said he believes China is having to reconsider its trade policy which he described as "very, very supportive of its own industries though various protectionist mechanisms".

"From China's perspective, it absolutely does not want to see a trade war".

US businesses seem happy that there's a pause, albeit brief, for them to weigh in.

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If a trade war does erupt, both sides are likely to share the blame.

Trump also directed Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to propose new investment restrictions on Chinese companies within 60 days to safeguard technologies the USA views as strategic, said senior White House economic adviser Everett Eissenstat.

Trump has gone further than most business leaders and Republicans in Congress thought he would on trade.

Following a thorough analysis of available evidence, USTR, with the assistance of the interagency Section 301 committee, prepared findings showing that, among other acts, policies, and practices, China uses discriminatory licensing requirements to transfer technologies from United States companies to Chinese companies. The US will pay for its "arbitrary and reckless behaviour", the Chinese foreign ministry said.

"We have made it clear that we do not want a trade war".

"What you're probably going to get from the Chinese is a low-key response to try to negotiate their way out of it", Manning said. "Worries about escalation therefore won't go away".

A United Kingdom government spokesperson said they welcomed the "signals" that the USA government was considering European Union wide exemptions for limited time period.

Another concern remains how Chinese President Xi Jinping himself will respond as he consolidates power. Meanwhile, business groups representing companies ranging from Walmart Inc.to Amazon.com Inc. are warning US tariffs could raise prices for consumers and sideswipe stock prices. The metal tariffs have since been softened by the US with multiple exemptions for Canada, Mexico, South Korea, Brazil, South Korea and Germany, which account for more than half of all imports. "That process has failed". This is great news in terms of helping Americans buy cheap Chinese goods and the government finance its budget deficit.

American farmers "should be not necessarily infuriated but close to it", said Wayne Humphreys, who farms corn and soybeans and raises hogs and cattle near Columbus Junction, Iowa. "Finally the president decided that we needed to move forward". "'We will end up negotiating these things rather than fighting over them, in my view", Ross said.

The Treasury Department will then take 60 days after the signing to submit its recommendations for a targeted list.

Some are holding out hope a trade war can be averted and the disputes can be resolved through negotiation.

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