China warns of retaliation after Trump’s threats of fresh tariffs

US President Donald Trump speaks during the National Space Council meeting in the East Room of the White House

The Trump administration's new tariffs focused mainly on industrially manufactured goods like machines, robots, motors, medical devices and pharmaceuticals.

"China apparently has no intention of changing its unfair practices related to the acquisition of American intellectual property and technology", he said.

Although this would indeed badly damage American companies, he says it would have the side benefit of flooding markets with cheaper goods - except in the United States, of course, where such goods would be hit with steep tariffs.

"Risking a trade war with more tariffs will only invite more retaliation that will cause significant harm to the USA economy", said the group, urging the administration instead to "work with our allies and place coordinated pressure on China to end their harmful trade and investment practices".

"If the USA loses its senses and publishes a new list, China will be forced to take comprehensive measures that are both strong in quantity and gravity and will fight back", it read.

Trump ordered up identification of US$200 billion in Chinese imports for additional tariffs of 10 per cent - with another US$200 billion after that if Beijing retaliates.

And the China trade offensive is only one side of Trump's multi-front battle with all major U.S. economic partners. However, for oil exporters, shipments to China account for 16 percent, both figures based on data from the first five months of 2018.

The U.S. imported $505 billion of goods from China past year and exported about $130 billion, leaving a 2017 trade deficit of $376 billion, according to U.S. government figures. They are probably getting in defensive mode after seen that U.S president Trump not stepping back.

But Wall Street has viewed the escalating trade tensions with wariness, fearful they could strangle the economic growth achieved during Trump's watch.

Trump's latest move, as Washington fights trade battles on several fronts, was unexpectedly swift and sharp.

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He said China's recent claims of "openness and globalization" are "a joke".

When China was locked in a dispute with South Korea past year, the unofficial order was given for Chinese travel agencies to halt tour groups to South Korea.

"China can not have 70 percent of production of these industries by 2025", he said. "It's an unprecedented level of larceny".

"If China takes any actions to harm our companies operating in China or otherwise try to harm any corporate entity, farmer, ranch or whatever, those constitute actions which aren't acceptable and this president will have the back of Americans whether they're here on a farm in Iowa or Shanghai trying to operate". "This is predatory economics 101".

"In a global trade war, no matter how you spin tariffs, retailers and the American families that we serve are the losers", said Hun Quach, vice-president, worldwide trade, for the Retail Industry Leaders Association.

The move defied the White House's decision to replace the ban with a $1.4 billion fine, providing a lifeline to the firm threatened with collapse as it relies on the crucial United States hardware.

Pompeo raised the trade issue directly with China last week, when he met in Beijing with President Xi Jinping and others.

He said the move would be in retaliation for China's decision to raise tariffs on $50 billion in United States goods. The United States sold only US$130 billion of goods to China previous year. Trump also has slapped tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico and European allies.

"None of these efforts by the president and his team have resulted in any progress on the two core issues facing the U.S".

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