The U.S. Trade Representative announced the possible second round of tariff hikes on Tuesday targeting a $200 billion list of Chinese goods ranging from burglar alarms to mackerel.
"All in all, the trade impact of the first round of the tariff should have a very limited impact on China's exports to the US, with the maximum loss of $5 billion", Alicia Garcia Herrero, Chief Economist at Natixis Asia Research, wrote in a recent note.
China's foreign ministry said the Trump administration's actions were "typical bullying" and promised retaliatory action against the USA, according to the wire service.
"We can not turn a blind eye to China's mercantilist trade practices, but this action falls short of a strategy that will give the administration negotiating leverage with China while maintaining the long-term health and prosperity of the American economy", Hatch said in a statement. China imported USA goods worth $130 billion a year ago and Friday's tariff hike hit $34 billion of that, with another $16 billion cited for a possible increase.
United States tariffs of 25 percent on $34 billion of Chinese imports went into effect on July 6. Each side is planning tariffs on a further $16 billion in goods that would bring the totals to $50 billion. "Consumers, businesses and the American jobs dependent on trade, are left in the crosshairs of an escalating global trade war".
On Wednesday, the MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down about 1 percent, while the main indexes in Hong Kong and Shanghai recovered somewhat after falling more than 2 percent.
The onshore yuan tracked its offshore counterpart lower with traders closely watching the key 6.7 per dollar level as pressure mounted on the currency.
While there have been few signs the trade tussle is having a broader impact so far, analysts expect China's export growth to slow in the second half of the year and fear that a prolonged row with the US could put an already slowing economy on the skids.
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The list of proposed goods to be hit with new tariffs includes dozens of types of fish, eels, crab, lobster and other seafood.
The list is subject to a two-month public comment period before taking effect.
Some U.S. business groups and lawmakers from Trump's own Republican Party were critical of the escalating tariffs.
Senate Finance Committee chair Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) also took aim at the announced list, saying it "appears reckless and is not a targeted approach".
His plan to impose a 10 per cent tax on $200 billion of China-made products threatens to give U.S. consumers a bruising in every corner of the home. "It will also result in retaliatory tariffs, further hurting American workers", a Chamber spokeswoman said.
"The President has broken his promise to bring 'maximum pain on China, minimum pain on consumers, ' and American families are the ones being punished", Hun Quach, RILA VP of worldwide trade, said in a statement.
"In part because they have only limited ammunition and in part because it's still early in the process on the US side", Kuijs said. During a visit to Germany this week by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, the countries signed business deals worth more than $23 billion.