"We never wanted to see the escalation of trade frictions into a trade war".
Beijing vowed to take "necessary countermeasures" after the USA imposed 25 percent duties on about $34 billion in Chinese machinery, electronics and high-tech equipment, including autos, computer hard drives and LEDs.
USA tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese imports took effect as a deadline passed on Friday, and with Beijing having vowed to respond immediately in kind, the world's two biggest economies took a high-stakes turn towards all-out trade conflict.
"China promised to not fire the first shot, but to defend national core interests and the interests of the people it has no choice but to strike back as necessary", the Commerce Ministry said in a statement.
Companies worry that the spiraling dispute could chill global economic growth, but Asian financial markets took yesterday's developments in stride.
On the streets of Beijing, there were some concerns that prices would rise due to the tariffs but also a determination to support the Beijing authorities in the trade war.
Trump on Thursday said higher tariffs on an additional US$16 billion of Chinese goods were set to take effect in two weeks.
Adding to concerns this week was a leaked report suggesting Trump had asked his officials to look at pulling the United States out of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) altogether. According to tariff supporters, this can help to save jobs that might otherwise go overseas. "For example, they can quarantine [U.S.] products for a long time".
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Foreign companies accounted for $20 billion, or 59%, of the $34 billion of exports from China that would be subject to new U.S. tariffs, with United States firms accounting for a significant part of that 59%, Gao said. The US trade deficit in goods with China ballooned to a record US$375.2 billion a year ago, stoking his ire.
"There are no winners in a trade war, " William Zarit, chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China, said in a statement published just moments before the 12:01 deadline.
The back-and-forth trade battle between the world's two largest economies will likely be damaging to the United States economy according to trade experts, ths fact was not lost on the Chinese.
Analysts said this was the quiet before the storm, with United States exports likely to fall off in the third quarter as both sides feel the effects of worsening trade relations.
Acadiana soybean farmers are bracing for the worst case scenario after China imposes tariffs on American products.
Some Republican lawmakers lashed out at Trump, saying his trade war will hurt farmers and others. The U.S.is effectively requiring Chinese leaders to abandon or scale back a high-tech push that they consider vital to their country's future.
Consumer Technology Association: "While President Trump says his trade policy is meant to punish China, the numbers show that, in reality, USA businesses, workers and consumers will pay the price under this policy", said Sage Chandler, the group's vice president for worldwide trade.
It has increased sharply since 2001 when China joined the World Trade Organization and started to significantly improve its economic position and relations worldwide. "Half of all US manufacturing jobs depend on exports, (and) one in three acres on American farms is planted for global sales". The import tariffs will affect parts for airplanes and other vehicles that are made in China, as well as certain industrial machinery and medical devices.