Trump threatened to slap tariffs on up to $60 billion of Chinese imports Thursday. "And then we expect the U.S.to retaliate further".
Global stock markets have been rattled again by fears of a trade war between the world's two largest economics after China retaliated to Donald Trump's plan to impose tariffs on up to $60bn (£42.4bn) worth of Chinese products.
French President Emmanuel Macron was somewhat more direct. Nothing should be addressed when it is with a gun to your head'.
Trump's bold trade moves did generate praise from an unexpected source in the US Congress - the Democratic party.
Last night the World Trade Organisation Director-General Roberto Azevedo warned that creating barriers to worldwide trade would "jeopardise the global economy". With regard to the steel and aluminium tariffs, the USA president has given the European Union, along with Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and South Korea, a temporary exemption until 1 May, while talks continue.
European stocks were down over 1% in early trade.
President Trump's actions fulfil his frequent campaign pledge to seek fairer trade deals with nations around the globe and to retaliate against trading partners if the USA does not secure better agreements.
"Part of the reason, frankly, that we're able to do that is the fact that we have the tariffs on steel and the tariffs on aluminium".
As such, the USA has benefited greatly from trade with China both at the micro and macro level, Hua said, adding that the US' persistence in advancing the Section 301 investigation and publishing the so-called findings to pick a trade war will undoubtedly undermine the interests of the United States consumers, enterprises and financial market directly. Beijing hasn't yet indicated how it would respond to the latest move by the US.
China quickly responded with tariffs of its own that will hit U.S. imports worth $3 billion.
Trade war fears: Investors are running scared after the United States and China fired the opening salvos of what could become a trade war.
European shares fell today as a sell-off was triggered by mounting worries that U.S. tariffs on up to $60 billion of imports from China could escalate.
ANZ's China analyst, Raymond Yeung, said the direct damage to the Chinese economy would be small. Amid the trade-war rumblings, investors fled to the safety of bonds and drove down yields, a potential negative for bank profits. "Trump is negotiating. He's pushing back on the Chinese, and the Chinese will push back".
China isn't doing much to cool concerns about a trade war with the United States. The new memorandum is expected to take a dig at few products in technology sector in which China has an advantage over the U.S. Peter Navarro, the Director of Trade said that the U.S.is "strategically defending itself against economic aggression".
US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer indicated the industries could include aerospace, maritime and rail transport equipment, and new energy vehicles.
The President also says regularly that he wants a trade surplus or balance with China.
White House officials said the actions came after years of efforts failed to convince China to change its behaviour.
The likely victor of this trade war will be other countries, particularly countries from South America.