USA tariffs take effect, China warns of 'counterattack'

Chinese officials court EU nations to get allies in trade row with Trump – report

China has said it will not "fire the first shot" in a trade war with the United States, but its customs agency made clear on Thursday that Chinese tariffs on American goods would take effect immediately after U.S. duties on Chinese goods are put in place.

The Trump administration drafted its initial tariff list to spare consumers, and numerous products that American families purchase from China, like flat-screen TVs and shoes, are not directly hit on Friday.

The Commerce Ministry statement didn't provide details on its retaliation.

"I think products made in China are the best", said one shopper in a Beijing grocery story, who gave his name as Yang.

Some economists warn that an all-out trade war would put the brakes on the US economy by eroding business confidence, interrupting supply chains and increasing costs of imports to USA companies and consumers.

The big question is how far the hostilities between Washington and Beijing will go.

Trump confirmed that the United States would begin collecting tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese goods at 12:01 a.m. (0401 GMT) on Friday and warned that subsequent rounds could exceed $500 billion - roughly the amount that the United States imported from China past year.

It's not merely a tit-for-tat tariff exchange, but something more fundamental.

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On the Chinese side, fallout from the first round of tariffs was seen as tough but manageable.

The United States is set to impose tariffs on US$34 billion of Chinese imports from 0401 GMT on Friday (12:01pm Singapore time) and has warned it may ultimately target over US$500 billion worth of Chinese goods, or roughly the total amount that the United States imported from China past year.

Friday's tariffs could just be the opening skirmishes in the war, as Trump has vowed to hit as much as $450 billion in Chinese goods, the vast majority of imports.

A 25% tariff is now being applied to $US34 billion worth of Chinese goods entering the United States. Officials in Beijing reject accusations of theft and say foreign companies have no obligation to hand over technology.

Xi's government has expressed confidence China can hold out against USA pressure, but companies and investors are uneasy. On Thursday, a spokesperson for China's ministry of commerce said the U.S. will be "opening fire on the whole world and also opening fire on itself". "So we have 50 plus 200 plus nearly 300", Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One.

Throughout the escalating conflict, China has sought to take the high road, positioning itself as a champion of free trade, but state media ramped-up criticism of Trump on Friday.

The absence of safe-haven bids makes the yellow metal more vulnerable to strong U.S. non-farm payrolls report.

"Bullying and threatening will lead to nowhere".

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For the time being, analysts say it's hard to see Washington or Beijing backing down in the dispute.

A member of China's central bank monetary policy committee, Ma Jun, said today that the first punches will have a "limited impact" on the Chinese economy.

Donald Trump's trade war could potentially drag in products from other American trade partners, undermining relations.

Trump said in March that trade wars are good and easy to win.

"We urge the two governments to come back to the negotiation table", said Zarit. For example, the USA government wants China to rein in government subsidies for policies like "Made in China 2025", which seeks to pump hundreds of billions of dollars into industries such as robotics, electric cars and computer chips with the aim of becoming a global leader.

"China, which is in the crosshairs of the Trump administration's racketeering gun sights, has no choice but to fight back".

"While the Trump administration is anxious about gains and losses, Chinese people have unfaltering confidence in China's future".

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Iran and Saudi Arabia broke off diplomatic relations in 2016 and are locked in several proxy wars in the Middle East, including in Yemen.

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