Dow tumbles 425 points as China trade jitters persist

Robyn Valdez
March 24, 2018

Some industry participants said the tariffs and the threat of a brewing US-China trade war would create more Chinese demand for European pork exporters, who have boosted supplies to China in the last two years after sanctions on Russian Federation closed one of the region's key markets.

The U.S. President Donald Trump said he will impose tariffs of $60 billion on Chinese imports on Thursday.

If there is a trade war, the first shots were fired by China many years ago, US officials say, and it is Beijing that has long "gamed" the rules of the World Trade Organization for its own benefit.

While Beijing has yet to target USA soybeans, speculation mounted that the oilseed could be next.

China plans tariffs on imports of U.S. pork imports, recycled aluminium, steel pipes, fruit and wine, according to a Commerce Ministry statement on Friday.

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European Union leaders yesterday said they would maintain a threat to hit the USA with counter-measures, such as taxes on bourbon, Levis jeans and Harley Davidson motorbikes. Nothing should be addressed when it is with a gun to your head'. "The American consumers and enterprises will bear the brunt" of a trade war with China, Hua noted.

Cloud data service Dropbox also had a strong debut on Wall Street, surging 35 per cent to $28.48 after setting its initial price at $21, above the top end of the projected range.

Investors also sold some of the market's biggest recent winners. Some of these concerns were allayed on Thursday when it was announced that Australia, Brazil, Canada, South Korea, and Mexico would be receiving a temporary exception.

European and USA trade officials said this week they were beginning talks to reach a compromise.

Trump's actions fulfil his campaign pledge to demand fairer trade deals with countries and to retaliate against trading partners if the United States does not secure better agreements.

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"Part of the reason, frankly, that we're able to do that is the fact that we have the tariffs on steel and the tariffs on aluminium".

The announcement came hours after Trump instructed US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to slap tariffs on at least $50 billion in Chinese imports. It added that a 25 percent tariff on other goods, including pork and aluminum, could be imposed "after further evaluating the impact of US measures on China".

Trade war fears: Investors are running scared after the United States and China fired the opening salvos of what could become a trade war. That would be a huge blow to USA farmers, as American exports to the Asian country are worth about $14 billion annually. Trump declared that China was responsible for thousands of lost American jobs and billions in lost revenues.

Amid the looming threat of a trade war escalation, the World Trade Organization's Director-General Roberto Azevedo urged the sides to talk, warning that there will be "no winners" in this confrontation.

"What you're probably going to get from the Chinese is a low-key response to try to negotiate their way out of it", Manning said. News of the tariffs, however, derailed years of structured dialogue between China and America, during which they have sought to reach agreements on various economic and security issues.

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But the groups say they worry that imposing additional tariffs on China are isn't the best way to respond. Wal-Mart is among 25 USA retailers who have signed the letter that was sent to the White House, Monday.

"We have had success in finding new markets in many new areas of the world, it's just that when you have one customer that absorbs that much of a product in the world, it would be very hard to find other markets to replace it".

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