China slammed the US threat to expand tariff hikes to imports including apples, fish sticks and French doors as a "totally unacceptable" escalation of their trade battle and vowed Wednesday to protect its "core interests".
The Aussie, considered a liquid proxy for China-related trades, fell 0.5 percent against the dollar to $0.7422. The U.S. had said it would consider requests from some countries to be exempted from other sanctions that it plans put into effect in November that prevent Iran from exporting oil.
"Tariffs on such a broad scope of products make it inconceivable that American consumers will dodge this tax increase as prices of everyday products will be forced to rise", David French, the group's senior vice president for government relations, said in a statement.
Officials later issued a list of thousands of Chinese products the White House wants to hit with new tariffs, including hundreds of food products as well as tobacco, chemicals and coal.
Members of Congress are increasingly questioning Mr. Trump's aggressive trade policies, warning that tariffs on imports raise prices for consumers and expose USA farmers and manufacturers to retaliation overseas. That came four days after Washington added 25 percent duties on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods and Beijing responded by increasing taxes on the same amount of American imports. "There is no justification for such action", Mr Lighthizer said.
The Chinese Commerce Ministry said Tuesday that it would be forced to retaliate against what it called "totally unacceptable" US tariffs.
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The move would be the latest in the escalating trade skirmish between the world's two biggest economies.
But China also faces difficulties in retaliating directly: it ships far more goods to the United States ($506 billion previous year, according to U.S. figures) than come back in the opposite direction ($130 billion). However, because China exports more to the USA than it imports there are limits on the amount of tariffs Beijing can impose on American goods.
"We have been very clear and detailed regarding the specific changes China should undertake".
ASIA'S DAY: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 fell 1.2 percent to 21,932.21 and South Korea's Kospi lost 0.6 percent to finish at 2,280.62. "It will also result in retaliatory tariffs, further hurting American workers", a Chamber spokeswoman said. The prospect of an worldwide trade war has sent jitters through world markets.
Orrin Hatch, the Republican Senate Finance Chairman, condemned the move as "reckless" and not "targeted", while United States stock index futures fell in early Asian trading. "Unfortunately, China has not changed its behavior - behavior that puts the future of the US economy at risk. Consumers, businesses and the American jobs dependent on trade, are left in the crosshairs of an escalating global trade war", said Hun Quach, the head of worldwide trade policy for the group.
The United States complained China used predatory practices in a push to challenge American technological dominance.