China blames United States for ‘largest-scale trade war’ as tariffs kick in

US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping Getty Images

USA tariffs against Chinese imports took effect early Friday and President Donald Trump made clear Thursday that he is prepared to sharply escalate a trade war between the world's two biggest economies.

"Once these tariffs start going into effect, it's pretty clear the conflict is real", said Robert Holleyman, former deputy USA trade representative under President Barack Obama and now a partner at law firm Crowell and Moring.

China warned that while it has promised not to "fire the first shot", it would now be forced to "counterattack" in order to defend its core interests.

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce called the tariffs "typical trade bullying" and said Trump "launched the largest trade war in economic history".

In the short term, analysts said, the moves may disrupt markets and hinder trade in both countries.

And Chinese authorities quickly retaliated with equivalent tariffs on $34 billion worth of imported US goods - previously promised as ranging from vehicles to soybeans, beef and other agricultural products.

But it is the risk of escalation - specifically Trump's $500 billion dollar threat - that has analysts anxious. "The countdown is on as to what Trump will do next".

Adding to the tensions, a Chinese court this week temporarily barred Micron Technology Inc (MU.O) from selling its main semiconductor products in the world's biggest memory chip market, citing violation of patents held by Taiwan's United Microelectronics Corp (UMC) (2303.TW).

In Beijing, policy makers are digging in for what could be a protracted fight - one in which they say they won't be the aggressor.

"If what the U.S. wants is to escalate a trade war with China, then so be it".

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HNA is best known as the owner of Hainan Airlines Co and for holding stakes in Deutsche Bank AG and Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. The 57-year-old businessman was considered a driving force of the group that is worth more than $203 billion in assets.

The United States and China slapped tit-for-tat duties on $34 billion worth of the other's imports on Friday, with Beijing accusing Washington of triggering the "largest-scale trade war" ever in a sharp escalation of their months-long conflict.

Gold's tiresome response to US-China trade war makes it more vulnerable to gyrations in the US yields and the US dollar. "We won't do it and we have told them that".

A staff member walks past U.S. and Chinese flags placed for a joint news conference by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China June 14, 2018.

The Trump administration contends China has deployed predatory tactics in a push to overtake US technological dominance. Peak Pegasus was scheduled to reach its destination an hour after China was expected to enact a 25 percent tax on its goods, according to Bloomberg ship data. These tactics include cyber-theft as well as requiring American companies to hand over technology in exchange for access to China's market.

"If I was Starbucks or Apple", he said, "I would be scared right now". Trump has threatened to target an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

He argues that China should purchase more American goods, and has blamed trade with Beijing on the loss of American jobs throughout the Rust Belt.

Trump discussed the trade war Thursday with journalists who flew with him to Montana for a campaign rally.

Chinese officials, however, are projecting studied confidence, asserting the Asian nation is better equipped to withstand the turbulence.

The dispute has roiled financial markets including stocks, currencies and the global trade of commodities from soybeans to coal in recent weeks. Jiang said that they were now making flags for Trump's 2020 campaign.

Trump has become increasingly aggressive in how he handles internatoinal trade deals and is now on the verge of a trade war, with multiple countries threatening to hit back against proposed tariffs.

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