Asian markets tumble as new tariffs threat ends calm

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The latest set of duties would not take effect until the end of August at the earliest, after the administration holds a public comment period on the affected products.

TRT World's Kevin McAleese reports from Washington DC.

The products include various food items, chemicals, minerals, tobacco, electronics and office goods.

"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".

Financial markets could take a harder fall if China retaliates to the latest volley of USA tariffs, as Beijing has vowed, according to research firm Capital Economics.

"Although I have supported the administration's targeted efforts to combat China's technology transfer regime, tonight's announcement appears reckless and is not a targeted approach", Hatch said in a statement. Trump has said he may ultimately target more than $500 billion worth of Chinese goods, the total amount of United States imports from China a year ago. She added that they will take resolute and forceful measures to safeguard its legitimate and legal rights and interests.

"To protect the core interests of the nation and its people, the Chinese government will be forced to impose necessary countermeasures". They warned tariffs on imports raise consumer prices and expose US farmers and manufacturers to retaliation.

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"This type of irrational behavior is unpopular", the statement said, adding China would tack on the case to its suit against the U.S. at the WTO.

Stock markets in Shanghai dipped 1.8%, and Hong Kong fell more than 1.4%. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 144 points, or 0.6 percent, to 24,775.

Last year, China only imported about $130 billion of US goods, so to retaliate it might increase the size of the tariffs it imposes or resort to what it calls "qualitative" measures, which USA businesses fear could mean reprisals against their China operations.

However, because China exports more to the U.S. than it imports there are limits on the amount of tariffs Beijing can impose on American goods. China retaliated with duties on the same value of USA goods.

Some lawmakers, frustrated by having to stand by as Trump imposes measures they see as harmful and protectionist, have begun to explore ways to rein in the president's authority to unilaterally impose tariffs.

Beijing recently indicated that its response to more tariffs would include "qualitative" measures, which many analysts interpreted as creating regulatory hurdles or even stoking anti-US sentiment among consumers of USA products. "But more tariffs like these will punish America's manufacturing workers - and could undermine our hard-won gains thanks to tax and regulatory reform". But there's also services: The U.S. now provides a little over $50 billion in services to China, while China does far fewer services for us.

"This act is typical trade bullying", a spokesperson for China's Ministry of Commerce said in a statement. He said: "As in the past, the United States is willing to engage in efforts that could lead to a resolution of our concerns about China's unfair trade practices and to China opening its market to USA goods and services".

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