China state media slams Trump's 'gang of hoodlums'

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials are due to collect 25 percent duties on a range of products including motor vehicles, computer disk drives, parts of pumps, valves and printers and many other industrial components. China is expected to respond with tariffs on $16 billion worth of USA goods like machinery and plastics.

China has said it would not "fire the first shot", but the Chinese General Administration of Customs yesterday made it clear that Chinese tariffs on United States goods would take effect immediately after U.S. duties on Chinese goods kick in.

The Trump administration has argued that China has deployed predatory tactics in a push to overtake US technological dominance.

China has vowed to respond "immediately", with experts warning that tit-for-tat measures between the two financial superpowers will send shockwaves around the global economy and strike at the heart of the world trading system.

And Gao noted that of the $34 billion in taxable products on the United States list, about $20 billion - or almost two thirds - are made by firms with foreign investment, including a "significant portion" from America. Beijing said it would not hesitate to match those tariffs either.

Asked whether USA companies would be targeted with "qualitative measures" in China in a trade war, Gao said the government would protect the legal rights of all foreign companies in the country. "We think trade works for the American economy and tariffs don't".

One study said as many as 400,000 jobs could be lost.

Products of beans made by a USA company are displayed for sale at an worldwide supermarket Jenny Lou's in Beijing, China June 29, 2018.

"If the U.S.is determined to escalate conflicts with China then so be it", the newspaper said in an editorial.

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He added that the trade war could cancel out previous gains from tax-code rewrite that Trump signed into law a year ago.

Beijing has vowed to immediately respond with an equal amount of tariffs of its own against USA autos, agricultural and other products, though it is unclear how swiftly the actions could escalate into an all-out trade war.

Trump has taken an aggressive stance on trade, fulfilling a campaign promise.

The trade spat with China is part of the president's broader plan to renegotiate American trade deals with other countries. But in doing so he has alienated and angered longtime USA allies, many of which have imposed duties on American goods in response to Trump's tariffs of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum. "To put it simply, the United States is opening fire on the entire world, including itself", he said.

China and the United States have held talks about how to de-escalate the trade war, but no agreements were reached.

There was no evidence of any last-minute negotiations between US and Chinese officials, business sources in Washington and Beijing said.

In a fresh sign of industry´s unease, a business survey on Thursday again showed the United States services sector was already experiencing supply chain interruptions and rising costs in anticipation of heightened trade restrictions.

"It is troubling that the administration continues to assume that the imposition of tariffs will convince China to resolve complex trade issues, and irresponsible to downplay the impact on American workers and businesses", said Josh Kallmer, executive vice president for policy with the Information Technology Industry Council, which represents companies like Amazon and Intel.

The list avoids direct tariffs on consumer goods such as cellphones and footwear.

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