China urges United States to 'calm down' in escalating trade row over tariffs

Trump mulls raising tariffs on China imports to 25%

"Pressure and blackmail from the US won't work", Geng Shuang, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said at a briefing in Beijing, the New York Times reported.

The move comes after talks to avoid an escalation of the trade conflict fizzled out in June and also follows hard on the heels of a 5% fall in the value of the Renmimbi relative to the US Dollar, which was a move that many in the market say had the People's Bank of China written all over.

China and the US have raised tariffs on billions of dollars of each other's goods over complaints Beijing steals or pressures foreign companies to hand over technology.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer says Trump directed the increase from a previously proposed 10% duty because China has refused to meet US demands and has imposed retaliatory tariffs on US goods. The plan to more than double the tariff rate was first reported by Bloomberg News. For example, the 25 percent tariffs that the U.S. had threatened to impose on European Union cars and auto parts would have resulted in job losses leading to social problems in countries such as Germany.

U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer.

"China's economy is on track to slow this quarter and next", said Julian Evans-Pritchard, senior China economist at Capital Economics in Singapore. That said, a tilt toward stocks with a domestic focus, which are somewhat insulated from global trade tensions, makes sense now.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders countered by telling reporters Friday that "instead of retaliating, China should address longstanding concerns about its unfair trading practices".

However, this week the Republican president instructed him to consider raising 10 to 25 the taxes that would be applied to a list of products announced last July 10.

For the Trump administration, the possible bulk export of soybean to Europe has eased some pressure as the U.S. provides subsidies worth $12 billion for farmers, even though the hold on tariffs on European cars and auto parts while negotiating the best deal for a "zero-tariff" trade regime will increase the pressure on the U.S. automobile sector. While that might be deflated by some defensive or pre-emptive responses to the United States tariffs, the USA economy has been turbo-charged by Trump's deficit-funded tax cuts and increased government spending. Or as Quartz puts it, "Donald Trump's China tariffs are failing, so the White House is proposing even more tariffs".

"If the US takes a further and upgraded move, China would definitely retaliate to safeguard our legal rights".

China's Commerce Ministry said in a seperate statement Beijing's new set of proposed import tariffs on United States goods were rational and restrained.

"We hope that the trade policymakers in the United States will be cool-headed and listen to the voice of U.S. consumers and the USA business community", he added.

Even if the U.S. tries to buy fewer goods from China through imposing tariffs on Chinese goods, it still has to buy these goods from other countries, he said.

China's economy has shown signs of slowing, with the central government resorting to fiscal and monetary stimulus to offset the slowdown in external demand and boost confidence.

White House officials had hoped Trump's latest threat would frighten Chinese officials into negotiations, where Trump aims to secure more favorable terms for USA manufacturers in one of the world's largest marketplaces.

China has already felt the wrath of tariffs on its goods.