China to implement countermeasures immediately after United States tariffs take effect

China to implement countermeasures immediately after United States tariffs take effect

China says it's girded for a trade war with the USA and can give as good as it gets, but behind the official bravado lies a deep unease over trade friction with Washington. Later in the day, traders will get the minutes from last month's Federal Reserve meeting when it raised USA rates for a second time this year. Beijing will impose duties on almost 30 billion dollars of American products.

The United States is "opening fire" on the world with its threatened tariffs, the Chinese government warned on Thursday, saying Beijing will respond the instant U.S. measures go into effect as the two locked horns in a bitter trade war.

"Put simply, the United States is opening fire on the world - and itself", Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesperson Gao Feng said on Thursday.

Some said the day would never come, that it was all a bluff.

The Customs and Border Protection's website confirmed on Thursday that the new tariffs on Chinese goods will take effect Friday at 12:01 a.m. Longer-term trends are a factor, but uncertainty over trade is taking a toll, analysts say.

A strong rise across autos boosted European shares on Thursday, as hopes over a softening in US trade rhetoric lifted the sector, though trading remained cautious ahead of a USA deadline to impose tariffs on Chinese goods.

Mr Gao said China's foreign trade is expected to continue on a stable path in the second half, though investors fear a full-blown Sino-US trade dispute will deal a body blow to Chinese exports and its economy.

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Trump has threatened to progressively ratchet up USA penalties to a total of $450 billion in goods - which would represent the lion's share of all of China's exports to the United States. That could lead to politically unpalatable job losses. And if China were to respond in kind to that set of tariffs, a further $200 billion worth of Chinese imports would face the same fate.

Ningbo Top East Technology Co., which makes soldering irons in Ningbo, south of Shanghai, used to export 30 per cent of its output to the United States, according to its general manager, Tong Feibing.

"If the US implements tariffs, they will actually be adding tariffs on companies from all countries, including Chinese and USA companies", Gao said.

On a deeper level, the standoff reflects an escalating economic and military rivalry between a status quo power and one of the most remarkable growth miracles in history. "I will do whatever I can, including layoffs".

Prices are rising, especially for steel and aluminum, and companies are starting to feel reticent about investments or planning to shift production overseas to avoid retaliation against U.S. exports. China's imports from the United States a year ago totalled $153.9 billion, well short of Trump's $450 billion target. Officials in Beijing reject accusations of theft and say foreign companies have no obligation to hand over technology.

With further tit-for-tat levies already threatened between the USA and China, some investors are concerned this week may mark the start of a trade war that spreads globally.

Economists and various experts have warned for months of the risks to the global ecomony posed by a trade war between the United States and China.

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"Although we do not believe China will weaponize its currency, we do believe the current trajectory of Chinese yuan depreciation is justified", strategists at Bank of America Merrill Lynch wrote in a note. "Perhaps the Trump administration can only clear its mind after a fight".

With Europe advancing though, Wall Street's S&P 500 futures and Dow and Nasdaq futures were all up 0.6-0.7 percent, pointing to a solid start following Wednesday's U.S. Independence Day holiday.

Speaking at a separate briefing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang sidestepped a question on whether there had been efforts to initiate new talks with the United States.

How much consumers are willing change their behaviour because of the tariffs will shape which businesses suffer most.

European shares headed for a third day of gains on Thursday as reassuring economic data from Germany and a report that its big carmakers could be spared from us tariffs offset another gloomy session for Asia.

That would slow his research.

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