China slapped new tariffs on $75 billion worth of U.S. goods. This is the latest in the ongoing trade war as the United States prepares to place tariffs on another $300 billion worth of Chinese goods in September.
This “reinforces America’s perception of China as a bad actor” said Trump’s trade advisor Peter Navarro during an interview on FOX Business immediately after the tariffs were announced. U.S. stock futures reversed course on the news.
Earlier in the morning, Hu Xijin, editor in chief at the Chinese state-run Global Times tweeted: “China has ammunition to fight back. The US side will feel the pain.”
Hu’s comments come one day after Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng warned new tariffs on Chinese goods would “lead to an escalation of economic and trade friction,” adding that the two sides are scheduled to resume talks in about two weeks.
The warnings come after President Trump on Aug. 1 said the U.S., beginning next month, would place a 10 percent tariff on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods, adding they could go “well beyond 25 percent” if necessary. Beijing responded by letting its currency, the yuan weaken below seven per dollar for the first time in over a decade. The Trump administration then delayed the tariffs on about 60 percent of those goods until Dec. 15.
An escalation in the trade war could cause more problems for the stock market, which earlier this month found itself under pressure as tensions ratcheted back up.
Following the announcement, Nomura research analyst Masanari Takada warned equity markets were on their way to “seeing two volatility spikes in August, one early in the month and one towards the end of the month.” Volatility remains elevated.
A sliding stock market isn’t the only issue traders are grappling with. Last week, the yield curve inverted for the first time in over a decade. Such an event that has preceded every U.S. recession of the past 50 years.
But it’s not just the U.S. economy that is feeling the pain of the trade war. China’s GDP slowed to 6.2 percent in the second quarter, its weakest growth since 1992, and its industrial output hit a 17-year low in July.
The United States has imposed 25 percent tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods, causing Beijing to retaliate with its duties on $110 billion of U.S. products.