Wall Street slides as US-China trade fears rise

The Associated Press

The Trump administration has threatened to raise tariffs on $200 billion in imports from China to 25% from 10%, starting on Friday.

China's apparent reversals prompted Trump's ire, who announced via Twitter on Sunday the dramatic ratcheting up of tariffs, which USA trade representative Robert Lighthizer subsequently confirmed would take effect on Friday.

The ministry said escalating trade tensions are not beneficial to either country or to the world.

President Trump's top economic advisers on Monday accused China of reneging on previous commitments to resolve a monthslong trade war and said Mr. Trump was prepared to prolong the standoff to force more significant concessions from Beijing.

Chinese trade officials backtracked on key aspects of a trade deal draft, undercutting hopes that the Chinese delegation led by Vice Premier Liu He this week could salvage the deal, according to a Reuters report.

The United States has received an indication from China that Beijing wants to make a trade deal, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said on Wednesday, after Washington announced it will raise tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports.

Despite the trade war, the value of U.S. imports of Chinese goods have continued to rise, widening the soaring trade deficit with China.

Former Trump strategist Stephen Bannon wrote in The Washington Post that the president's best political option is "not to surrender, but rather to double down on the tariffs - they have been highly effective in pressuring the Chinese without harming the USA economy".

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ASA urged the administration to hold off on additional tariffs and rapidly conclude negotiations with China, including lifting the existing Section 301 tariffs in exchange for China removing its retaliatory 25 percent tariff on US soybeans.

"Tariffs are taxes paid by American businesses and consumers, not by China", said David French, senior vice president for government relations at the National Retail Federation in a statement.

He also said that China's vice-premier Liu He would fly to Washington this week for the next stage of talks as originally planned. US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin alleged that China was going back on its commitment.

We think China trade talks will negatively impact our universe.

Following the tariffs announcement, stock markets around the world sank for two trading days and Wall Street futures were still in the red shortly after 1300 GMT on Wednesday but were moving higher. He also threatened further tariffs on nearly all other untaxed Chinese goods.

Still, some investors may not want to get on the wrong side of the trade in the event a deal is hammered out as Chinese officials are in Washington this week to continue negotiations.

The United States said on Wednesday the higher tariffs would go into effect on Friday, according to a notice posted on the Federal Register. But while American exporters have been hit hardest, Chinese industries including electronics that Beijing sees its economic future also have suffered double-digit declines in US sales. He also said he would slap 25 percent tariffs on goods not current subject to import fees.

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