China vows to hit back over new US tariffs

Workers assembling smartphones in Guang'an Sichuan

China accused the United States of bullying and warned it would hit back after the Trump administration raised the stakes in their trade dispute, threatening 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods.

The tech sector, more broadly, will suffer from tariffs due to the nature and complexity of the global supply chain that it relies on.

City traders will be trudging wearily to their desks this morning after last night's gripping World Cup drama, and worrying about the impact of a US-China trade war.

China gave no details, but it has plenty of options to retaliate that could extend beyond additional tariffs on United States imports.

While China matched tariffs on US$34 billion in goods, dollar-for-dollar, state media coverage of the trade war has been relatively subdued.

Trump had threatened earlier that he would impose additional tariffs if Beijing retaliated with countermeasures.

Reuters noted that significantly less than $200 billion of us goods are exported to China, which means the country could have to turn to creative measures in order to retaliate.

The US said it had no choice but to move forward on the new tariffs after China failed to respond to the administration's concerns over unfair trade practices and Beijing's abuse of American intellectual property, according to two senior officials who spoke to reporters.

Beijing has said it would hit back against Washington's escalating tariff measures, including through "qualitative measures", a threat that US businesses in China fear could mean anything from stepped-up inspections to delays in investment approvals and even consumer boycotts.

On Tuesday, U.S. officials issued a list of thousands of Chinese imports the Trump administration wants to hit with the new tariffs, including hundreds of food products as well as tobacco, chemicals, coal, steel and aluminum, prompting criticism from some U.S. industry groups.

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China has, in recent years, become a key export market for growing USA energy exports.

"For over a year, the Trump administration has patiently urged China to stop its unfair practices, open its market, and engage in true market competition".

The list is subject to a two-month public comment period before taking effect.

While Chinese shares regained Wednesday's heavy losses, with the Shanghai Composite index rising 2.2 percent, the yuan fell against the dollar following the central bank's weakest daily fixing in almost a year and Washington's fresh tariff threats.

The National Association of Manufacturers also criticized the USA decision, saying this latest round of tariffs could undermine the economic gains from the administration's tax and regulatory reform policies.

"But more tariffs like these will punish America's manufacturing workers - and could undermine our hard-won gains thanks to tax and regulatory reform".

Some US business groups and senior lawmakers sharply criticised the latest action on Tuesday, with Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, a Republican, saying it "appears reckless and is not a targeted approach".

"China's closest neighbors, namely Japan, Korea and Hong Kong, are most vulnerable to a U.S. -Sino trade war because they export mostly intermediate goods to China", OCBC said in a note. "It will also result in retaliatory tariffs, further hurting American workers", a Chamber spokeswoman said.

The Office of the US Trade Representative is seeking submissions on the latest proposed tariffs and will conduct hearings in late August, making September the earliest possible implementation date for the new import taxes.

South Korea's government has weighed in this morning, warning that its exports could be hurt by the escalating dispute between Washington and Beijing.

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