China accuses USA of trade ‘abuses’ as India hits back at Trump

White House downplays China trade tensions as ‘dispute

The total amount of U.S. goods exported to China amounted to only US$130 billion (S$177 billion) a year ago, meaning that Mr Trump's potential tariffs on US$250 billion or more of Chinese imports can not be matched, at least directly.

He pledged to impose tariffs on imports from countries that Trump said had exploited the United States.

The European Union slapped revenge tariffs on iconic U.S. products including bourbon, jeans and motorcycles on Friday in its opening salvo in a trade war with President Donald Trump.

"We do not want to be in this position", EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said in a statement, adding that the "unilateral and unjustified" United States decision had left the EU with no choice. The higher tariffs had previously been registered with the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The equivalent value of €6.4 billion in European Union steel and aluminium exports that are now facing United States tariffs.

His threat - which if carried out would represent a serious escalation of the burgeoning trade war - comes hours after new European Union tariffs on goods imported from the USA came into force.

Blue jeans may be among the products that will be hit by retaliatory tariffs announced by the European Union against the United States.

Internet sales-tax ruling could have big effect in Florida
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Earlier this month, Mexico imposed a series of tariffs on $3 billion worth of USA exports of pork, apples, potatoes, bourbon as well as different types of cheese.

Some of the products chosen are created to target the states controlled by Republicans, who are seeking to retain control of both chambers of Congress in November elections. By the first week in July, $75 billion in U.S. products will be hit by new foreign tariffs, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's John Murphy. The European Autos Stocks Index fell sharply after Trump's 20 per cent tariff tweet and was last down 1.25 per cent. Ford Motor Co shares went into the red and were down 0.5 per cent, while General Motors Co shares were off 0.3 per cent.

"Changes in trade policy could cause us to have to question the outlook", Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said during a panel discussion at a European Central Bank conference in Sintra, Portugal.

"We don't want to do anything that would harm consumers", he said on Thursday. "The logic of that is what companies throughout the country are feeling".

One advantage of this tactic for China is that this time, the numbers are on its side, as U.S. investment in China is far larger than the reverse.

One thing that may cause Beijing to hold back from a full-scale attack on American companies is concern about the impact it would have on the domestic economy.

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