China: Tit-for-tat tariffs will ‘destroy’ US-China trade

European exporters shift trade to avoid higher US tariffs

The Chinese government vowed Wednesday to take "firm and forceful measures" against US threats to expand tariff hikes to thousands of products like fish sticks, apples and French doors as their trade dispute escalates.

Trade rhetoric has been escalating between the US and the rest of the world, including key American allies.

The U.S. has also placed duties on steel and aluminum from Canada, Mexico, and the European Union, who in turn have responded with retaliatory measures.

"Tariffs on such a broad scope of products make it inconceivable that American consumers will dodge this tax increase as prices of everyday products will be forced to rise", David French, the group's senior vice president for government relations, said in a statement.

The initial United States tariff list focused on Chinese industrial products in an attempt to limit the impact on American consumers. Rather than address our legitimate concerns, China has begun to retaliate against US products.

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Last week, Washington imposed 25 per cent tariffs on $US34 billion of Chinese imports, and Beijing responded immediately with matching tariffs on the same amount of USA exports to China. "There is no justification for such action", he said in a statement. Trump has demanded that China cut its trade deficit with the U.S.by $200 billion in two years.

In Beijing, Li Chenggang, assistant minister at China's Commerce Ministry, said that the latest USA proposals would hurt both countries and pointed to declines in Chinese export growth and overseas investment to the United States in the first half of this year.

The latest escalation in the trade dispute sent markets lower.

The US has announced its plans to impose taxes on a further $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, in retaliation for China's retaliation to America's first round of tariffs.

Analysts have warned that a spiralling trade war between the world's two financial powerhouses could have a damaging impact on the global economy. The move has faced criticism from American officials and lawmakers.

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Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., July 11, 2018. Each side is mulling tariffs on a further $16 billion in goods that would bring the totals to $50 billion. These tactics include the outright theft of trade secrets, government subsidies to homegrown tech firms and demands that USA and other foreign companies hand over technology if they want access to China's vast market.

Stock markets in Asia fell sharply during early trading on Wednesday amid the escalating trade tension between the two economic giants. The U-S Chamber of Commerce says the proposed measure would ultimately hurt American families.

"The markets still remain sensitive to the trade-related theme, which is something investors have to take into account for the long term", said Yoshinori Shigemi, global market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management in Tokyo.

Mr Trump has been considering tariffs against China since his officials concluded in March that Beijing violates United States intellectual-property rights, such as by forcing American firms to hand over technology.

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