U.S. restrictions on Chinese investment next front in trade dispute

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Monday said forthcoming investment restrictions would apply "to all countries that are trying to steal our technology", not just to China. He warned that Beijing had an "enormous array of tools to put pressure on American companies" like Apple and GM, companies that really depend on China.

Also Monday, Wisconsin's Harley-Davidson tumbled more than 6% after saying it would move some production out of the U.S. amid retaliatory tariffs the company said would bring about a "tremendous cost increase". CFIUS reviews-or the threat of reviews-have largely halted Chinese purchases of USA semiconductor companies.

The disagreements were also about USA tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods that are scheduled to go into effect on July 6, which China said would trigger retaliation involving its imports of American soybeans and motor vehicles.

The Dow, a narrow gauge of 30 USA stocks, has declined in nine of the past 10 trading days - a remarkably long losing streak that adds up to a 4.6 per cent decline. The S&P technology index.SPLRCT fell 2.3 percent, the most among the major S&P 11 sectors.

He said markets have misunderstood the president's plans.

Harley-Davidson sank 6.0 per cent as it announced it would shift some USA manufacturing capacity overseas due to European Union tariffs on U.S. motorcycle exports.

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It also said it would unveil a revised list of Chinese goods for tariffs, which it did on June 15. "Trade must be fair and no longer a one way street!"

Bloomberg updated the article after the tweet to note, despite the Treasury secretary's insistence that China was not the target of the investment curbs, the president's memorandum ordering him to draft the limits specifically cited China. The administration could expand the existing authority of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or CFIUS, which is led by the Treasury and which already has blocked Chinese investments, in ports and semiconductors. The administration is still debating some aspects of the new investment restrictions that are set to be announced on Friday, a government official said.

Stocks fell in midday trading Monday, with the Dow Jones industrial average down as much as 446 points, amid reports of protectionist policy pushes by the Trump administration that would ramp up trade tensions on multiple fronts.

The White House, Treasury Department and Commerce Department did not immediately reply to requests for comment.

Airbus could stand to benefit if China's looming trade war with the United States prompts Beijing to favour the European aerospace giant over USA rival Boeing.

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