China's Ministry of Commerce said on Friday it opposed USA unilateralism and protectionism after Washington unveiled plans for tariffs on up to $60 billion in Chinese goods following an intellectual property probe.
Trump's plan to reinvigorate American manufacturing might have the opposite effect as the move could hurt the U.S. steel companies. The ministry slammed that as "trade protectionism" but gave no indication how Beijing might respond.
China warned the U.S. on Friday that it was "not afraid of a trade war" as it threatened tariffs on $3 billion worth of United States goods in retaliation to Trump's new measures.
Business groups mostly agree that something needs to be done about China's aggressive push in technology - but they worry that China will retaliate by targeting USA exports of aircraft, soybeans and other products and start a tit-for-tat trade war of escalating sanctions between the world's two biggest economies. "Nevertheless, the first volley of shots and retaliatory response has been set off".
Just days after Trump announced the tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum, the Pennsylvania-based company laid off about a third of its workforce and increased its prices by about $5 to $8 per keg.
The ministry said Chinese purchases of those goods a year ago totaled $3 billion. "The import was 390.4 billion USA dollars", Fu said. In January, he imposed tariffs on imported solar panels and washing machines. Companies worry the dispute could spiral into tit-for-tat import controls by governments worldwide that could suppress global trade. China has so far left out measures against key USA goods, such as soybeans, sorghum and Boeing Co. airplanes, a sign it is leaving itself room to escalate-or negotiate.
"China's market receives the largest number of USA planes and soybeans and the second largest number of U.S. cars and cotton".
China and the US had benefited by globalization, Blackrock's Larry Fink said at the forum.
G20 sees need for 'dialogue,' fails to defuse trade war threat
They say such currencies raise issues involving consumer and investor protection, money laundering and terrorist financing. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin pushed the Trump administration's emphasis on "free trade with reciprocal terms".
"I view them as a friend" Trump said of the Chinese as he started his announcement.
A senior US official said the latest USA moves are meant to spur Beijing to fulfill longstanding promises to broaden access to the Chinese market. "There's a long-term pattern of behavior by the Chinese government to the detriment" of USA companies, the US official said at a briefing.
He said he had spoken to the China's President Xi Jinping and asked him to reduce the trade deficit by $100 billion immediately and he was "in the midst of a very large negotiation" with Beijing.
Trump argued the action was meant to protect US industries from unfair competition and to bolster national security, but his decision brought some harsh criticism from fellow Republicans and roiled financial markets amid fears of a potential trade war. The USTR said Trump had ordered it to pursue a World Trade Organization case against Beijing's "discriminatory technology licensing".
The White House says the planned tariffs are aimed at punishing Beijing for allegedly stealing American technology and pressuring USA companies to hand it over.
"We've had this abuse by many other countries and groups of countries that were put together in order to take advantage of the United States, and we don't want that to happen", the president continued.
On Tuesday, the Chinese premier promised at a news conference Beijing will "open even wider" to imports and investment as part of efforts to make its economy more productive.
That said, global demand for Chinese exports has helped fuel growth recent, offsetting other economic ills, such as excess capacity in the industrial sector.