Oil traders ready for musical chairs as China tariffs loom

The US says the new tariffs, which would be set at a rate of 10 percent, are in response to tariffs from China last week on $34 billion in US goods at a 25 percent rate.

China's stock market dropped 2.7 percent, while Japan's Nikkei ended down by 1.7 percent.

The yield on the US 10-year Treasury fell to 2.88 percent from 2.92 percent.

"Risking a trade war with more tariffs will only invite more retaliation that will cause significant harm to the USA economy", said the group, urging the administration instead to "work with our allies and place coordinated pressure on China to end their harmful trade and investment practices".

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland told the Commons global trade committee that the "absurd and insulting" US action will meet with a firm response. "China trade war will be widespread, hitting many Asian countries that are part of China's manufacturing supply chain in sectors such as electrical and electronic products", said Rajiv Biswas, Asia Pacific chief economist at IHS Markit in Singapore.

But investors in US agricultural commodities appeared to be far more anxious. Higher prices on imported goods could dampen consumer sentiment and pressure inflation.

Trump has argued that it would be easy for America to win a trade war with the Chinese, since nations with trade deficits have an inherent advantage in such conflicts.

Tom Orlik, chief economist at Bloomberg Economics, said that in the event that China's exports to the US weaken in the face of tariffs, the government would likely seek to offset the growth impact with a combination of subsidies to support domestic demand and higher infrastructure investment.

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"I understand that there's going to be concern about what the impact might be, both on the financial markets and on the global economy", he said. It injected another 200 billion yuan (US$31 billion) into the economy via its medium-term lending facility on Tuesday, pushing its net injections so far in June to the most in any month since December 2016.

Japanese carmakers suffered major declines in their China sales in 2012 after the fight over disputed islands in the East China Sea worsened.

The US leader warned that after the new measures are in place - on top of existing 25 per cent tariffs on US$50 billion in Chinese imports - tariffs on another US$200 billion of Chinese goods would go forward "if China increases its tariffs yet again". In a forcefully worded statement, it said Beijing is ready to "defend the interests of the Chinese people and enterprises".

The Business Roundtable, representing companies with more than $7 trillion in annual revenue, said the administration's feud with China "will only make it harder to achieve a fair and level playing field for American companies to compete in China". "This is unacceptable. Further action must be taken to encourage China to change its unfair practices, open its market to United States goods, and accept a more balanced trade relationship".

"This latest action by China clearly indicates its determination to keep the United States at a permanent and unfair disadvantage, which is reflected in our massive $376 billion trade imbalance in goods", said the U.S. president. Trump has tried to throw a lifeline to ZTE, which has been struggling to survive under US sanctions. ZTE's survival has been a key goal of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The U.S. imported US$505 billion of goods from China a year ago and exported about US$130 billion, leaving a 2017 trade deficit of US$376 billion, according to U.S. government figures.

Although Mr. Trump's audience applauded his comments on tariffs at the annual National Federation of Independent Business conference, the renewed trade hostilities between Washington and Beijing are spooking many sectors of the USA economy, from Wall Street to the agricultural heartland. The list was created using a computer algorithm that chose products to hurt Chinese exporters while limiting the impact on U.S. buyers.

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