China vows counter-attack as Trump trade pulls trade war trigger

US 'firing at itself' with trade measures: China

A 12:01 a.m. start on Friday in Beijing would mean it would take effect just after noon on July 5 in Washington.

China's Ministry of Commerce said Friday in a statement that the U.S. had launched "the largest trade war in economic history".

The Trump administration's 25% tariffs are targeting Chinese products such as industrial machinery, medical devices and auto parts.

However, while no details have been provided as yet, it looks like a Chinese retaliation may be in the works.

"The first round's impact is not that big, but the key is whether there will be more - a second round of revenge and retaliation and a third round, " said Shi Yinhong, a professor of global relations at Renmin University in Beijing.

As the tariffs approached, the United States central bank warned the impending trade battle was beginning to darken the otherwise blue skies of the robust American economy, now in its 10th year of recovery.

China's foreign trade was expected to continue on a stable path in the second half of the year, he said, although investors fear a full-blown China-US trade war would deal a body blow to Chinese exports and its economy. This prompted Beijing to respond in kind with levy tariffs on US imports, China's foreign ministry said Friday.

Tariffs imposed so far by all sides affect about $60 billion of goods, or 0.3 per cent of world trade, according to Slater. On Thursday aboard Air Force One, the president vowed to implement tariffs on an additional $16 billion worth of imported Chinese goods within the month. Trump said. "So we have 50 plus 200 plus nearly 300". He said Washington stood ready to slap duties on hundreds of billions more in Chinese imports once Friday's tariffs took effect.

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It's also bigger than the $505 billion of goods that the United States imported from China past year.

The American tariffs are the result of Mr Trump's attempt to protect USA jobs and stop "unfair transfers of American technology and intellectual property to China".

Speaking at a weekly news conference, Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng (高峰) said that the proposed United States tariffs would hit worldwide supply chains, including foreign companies in the world's second-largest economy. Clearly, the United States and China are in for a long drawn out trade war. But after three rounds of negotiations between the two sides, including a Chinese pledge to significantly increase purchases of American products, Trump chose to go ahead with the tariffs.

Imports from the US are seen at a supermarket in Shanghai, China April 3, 2018. U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports have provoked retaliatory measures against billions of dollars of American exports.

The commerce ministry on Friday criticised Washington for "trade bullying" following the tariff hike that took effect at noon Beijing time in a spiraling dispute over technology policy that companies worry could chill global economic growth. "It's very hard to see this happening in the current environment".

"This continued escalation poses a serious threat to growth and recovery in all countries, and we are beginning to see this reflected in some forward-looking indicators", WTO Director General Roberto Azevedo said in a statement.

Trump has railed against Beijing for intellectual property theft and barriers to entry for US businesses and a $375 billion USA trade deficit with China.

"If this ends at $34 billion, it will have a marginal effect on both economies, but if it escalates to $500 billion like Trump said then it's going to have a big impact for both countries", Chen said. "At that point, the USA will be more interested in negotiations, and the Chinese side will also want to come to the table".

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