China vows retaliation for latest USA tariff threat

European exporters shift trade to avoid higher US tariffs

China's government vowed Wednesday to take "firm and forceful measures" as the U.S. threatened to expand tariffs to thousands of Chinese imports like fish sticks, apples and French doors, the latest salvo in an escalating trade dispute that threatens to chill global economic growth.

The Commerce Ministry on Wednesday gave no details, but Beijing responded to last week's United States tariff hike on $34 billion of imports from China by increasing its own duties on the same amount of American goods.

President Trump escalated his trade war with China Tuesday, identifying an additional $200 billion in Chinese products that he intends to hit with import tariffs.

The products include various food items, chemicals, minerals, tobacco, electronics and office goods.

Members of Congress are increasingly questioning Trump's aggressive trade policies, warning that tariffs on imports raise prices for consumers and expose USA farmers and manufacturers to retaliation overseas. "There is no justification for such action", said Mr Lightizer.

Accusing China of not negotiating "seriously" on trade, the Trump administration has released a list of products it wants to impose a ten percent tariff on, amounting to $200 billion. China immediately responded with $34 billion worth of tariffs on American-made goods in retaliation.

Li Chenggang, an assistant minister at the Commerce Ministry, had earlier told reporters that the USA is escalating the trade war, which is an irresponsible move.

On Friday, the U.S. imposed 25-percent tariffs on around $34 billion in Chinese goods, sparking an immediate dollar-for-dollar retaliation from Beijing.

China, however, has explicitly excluded LNG from its list of USA energy goods that may be subject to tariffs, as it seeks to fight air pollution by a massive switch from coal-fired to gas-fired residential heating.

The office will take public comments and hold hearings on the plan before reaching a decision after August 31.

The US Chamber of Commerce, which had supported Mr Trump's domestic tax cuts, was less enamoured of his tariff policies.

"But more tariffs like these will punish America's manufacturing workers - and could undermine our hard-won gains thanks to tax and regulatory reform".

They also said they remain open to working with China to try to resolve the dispute, but the response from Beijing so far has been unsatisfactory.

The Mizuho expert said that omission might reflect the US intention to attack the "Made in China 2025" program - a strategic plan to make China a leader in key global industries. "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.

A senior White House official told CNBC that the reason for the $200 billion figure was that it's "roughly equal to their exports to us".

Asian stocks remained under pressure on Thursday from fears of an escalation in the U.S.

Meanwhile, Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said the effects of the tariffs have been "very, very detrimental" and that he's "very, very nervous about it".

The rise in the interest rate helped push the loonie up earlier in the day, but it averaged 76.04 cents United States for a 0.15 of a USA cent drop on the day on trade tensions, said Del Greco.

Trump had threatened earlier that he would impose additional tariffs if Beijing retaliated with countermeasures.

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