Markets around the world are getting pummelled as Trump's trade war intensifies

Canola is an “imperfect substitute” for soybeans
Mike Drew  Postmedia

The United States has chose to impose tariffs on $US200 billion ($279 billion) worth of imports from China after efforts to negotiate a solution to the trade dispute failed to reach an agreement, senior administration officials said on Tuesday.

The $200 billion far exceeds the total value of goods China imports from the United States, which means Beijing may need to think of creative ways to respond to such USA measures.

Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Tuesday released a list of thousands of additional goods that could face 10% tariffs after a public comment period.

Global markets are rattled this morning after America escalated the deepening trade war between the two countries.

"Tonight's announcement appears reckless and is not a targeted approach", said Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch in a statement.

US President Donald Trump ordered his government to prepare tariffs on a further US$200bn of imports from China on Monday. "The US upped the stakes in the trade war with China, sending equity markets tumbling, as risk off prevails", Jasper Lawler, head of research at London Capital Group wrote in an email.

The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China said this week its member companies are rearranging the global flow of their goods to make sure any bound for the United States don't pass through China. China promised to lodge complaints at the World Trade Organization but didn't detail what its retaliatory measures would be. "There is no justification for such action", he said in a statement.

Soybeans, crushed to make cooking oil and the protein-rich animal feed ingredient soymeal, were the biggest US agriculture export to China previous year at a value of US$12.3 billion, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

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"China is showing no signs of backing down and instead looks like it is preparing for a drawn out conflict", said Scott Kennedy, deputy director of China studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. They warned tariffs on imports raise consumer prices and expose US farmers and manufacturers to retaliation.

"Tariffs are taxes, plain and simple".

The Retail Industry Leaders Association, a lobbying group, said U.S. businesses and consumers will lose from the administration's trade battle. Hours later, China's Commerce Ministry said the US tariffs were "totally unacceptable" and would force the country retaliate, without saying how.

"American families are the ones being punished". While earlier tariffs were expected to have only a limited impact, economists warn a full-blow trade war could derail the strongest economic upswing in years.

LONDON - Global markets are getting hammered on Wednesday as the trade war between the Trump administration and China intensifies, while fears also rise that Trump could pull the U.S. out of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

The US complains that China uses predatory practices in a push to challenge American technological dominance.

Washington had proposed the extra tariffs after efforts to negotiate a solution to the dispute failed to reach an agreement, senior administration officials said on Tuesday.

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