Trump Targets $200 Billion In Chinese Imports As Spat Grows

Oil pumps are seen in Lake Maracaibo in Lagunillas Ciudad Ojeda in the state of Zulia Venezuela

China has described Donald Trump's threat to impose 10% tariffs on $200 billion of worth of Chinese goods as "blackmail" and warned it was prepared to take countermeasures if Washington goes through with them.

Last week, Trump announced 25 per cent tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese imports, prompting Beijing to follow suit with matching duties on American imported goods.

This comes after the US slapped 25 percent duties on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports. The tariffs were quickly matched by China (pictured is China's President Xi Jinping) on United States exports, a move that drew the president's ire.

"Trump is playing a game of chicken, who will blink first", said Ivan Feinseth, chief investment officer at Tigress Financial Partners. The tariffs were the result of an investigation by Commerce Department into the theft of USA intellectual property by Chinese companies.

"China apparently has no intention of changing its unfair practices related to the acquisition of American intellectual property and technology", Trump added in a statement. Those tariffs were quickly matched by China's threat to penalize on USA exports, a move that drew the president's ire.

Trump "wants to fight a trade war with China, but he hopes to control the scale of the trade war in a way that China does not fight back, so he can ... show that his hardline policy works", it said. "His strategy, now clearer than ever before, appears to hinge on the idea that the US has the upper hand by virtue of its larger import value, and continued threats to target those imports give the USA significantly more leverage than China". He did not say when the target list of Chinese goods would be unveiled.

Mounting concerns over the U.S.

More news: Trump Wants to Be Treated Like North Korea Chief Kim Jong

Trump's intervention to help the firm was seen at the time as part of a move to smooth over tensions with Beijing as they embarked on talks to avert a trade war, with the president tweeting on May 13 that too many Chinese jobs were at threat.

Congress scorned Trump's amnesty for ZTE; the press revealed that China hadalready been planning to increase its intake of American agriculture before negotiations with the White House had even begun; and the White House's China hawks pushed the president to chart a tougher course.

Are US and China on the brink of a trade war?

In announcing the possibility of new $200 billion in tariffs, Trump mentioned that he still has an "excellent relationship" with Chinese president Xi Jinping.

But Oosterveld said he was optimistic that the United States and China would ultimately reach a bilateral deal by the end of the year.

Additionally, the president has promised further escalation in his attack on China's alleged theft of intellectual property and unfair trade practices should it respond with more tariffs on USA goods, promising to pursue tariffs on yet another $200bn of Chinese products. Many investors feel smaller and more USA -focused companies are less vulnerable in the event of a major trade dispute. Even an internal report from the White House Council of Economic Advisers reported by the New York Times found that Trump's trade agenda would hurt the us economy. That has prompted Mr Trump to up the ante once more in what he regards as an unfair balance in trade between the two superpowers.

Since June 1, steel and aluminium imports from the European Union, Canada and Mexico have been hit with tariffs of 25 per cent and 10 per cent, respectively.

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