Trade tariffs: Chinese media in Trump 'fools build walls' jibe

Trump has already slapped steep tariffs on steel an aluminium imports from Mexico Canada and the EU prompting a furious response from Justin Trudeau

Shares in US industrial and materials companies were under pressure on Friday on escalating trade tensions between the United States and China after President Donald Trump announced tariffs on China, which said it would fight back.

"If the United States takes unilateral, protectionist measures, harming China's interests, we will quickly react and take necessary steps to resolutely protect our fair, legitimate rights", Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Geng Shuang (耿爽) told a regular news briefing. The EU, along with Canada and Mexico, will impose retaliatory tariffs on USA goods, and file dispute settlement cases with the World Trade Organization in Geneva.

Benchmark Brent Crude Oil dropped sharply Friday by 3.38% to US$73.37 ahead of an OPEC meeting in Vienna next week as two of the world's biggest producers, Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation, indicated they were prepared to increase output.

The U.S. imported only 58,437 passenger vehicles from China a year ago, a sliver of the 8.27 million shipped to America from the rest of the world, according to the Commerce Department's International Trade Administration.

President Donald Trump says the tariffs on China are a response to what he calls the country's unfair trade practices, including requiring US companies to effectively hand over innovations and other competitively sensitive information in exchange for access to the massive Chinese market.

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China responded immediately, saying it will impose comparable taxes on United States goods, despite threats from Trump that such a move would results in further retaliatory measures.

China has noticed the USA statement that it will continue to impose additional tariffs if China takes retaliatory measures. They say those violate Chinese market-opening commitments under the World Trade Organization.

Additional tariffs for 545 items worth about US$34 billion, including agricultural products, vehicles and aquatic products, will be effective from July 6, 2018, according to a statement of the commission. "This move is not only damaging bilateral interests but also undermining the world trade order".

The first wave of tariffs will total $34bn and take effect on July 6, with another $16bn still to be reviewed, the US Trade Representative said.

On Friday, the White House confirmed it will impose a 25% tariff on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods.

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Making good on a pledge to punish the alleged theft of American intellectual property, Trump warned in a statement of "additional tariffs" if China hits back with tit-for-tat duties on American goods and services exports.

The U.S. government also released a second list of 284 additional products it said were being considered for tariffs.

The ministry says it's also scrapping deals to buy more American farm goods and other exports - steps that were meant to help ease a dispute over China's trade surplus and China's technology policy.

With the the USA and China exchanging volleys, analysts said the trade fight is likely to continue for months, with little prospect of an agreement before the midterm elections in November.

How will US consumers and businesses be affected?

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