Trade threats unnerve global markets

Washington has already imposed 25 percent tariffs on Chinese goods worth $34billion

Washington has already imposed 25 percent tariffs on Chinese goods worth $34billion

But the move drew swift condemnation from US business lobby groups anxious that tit-for-tat tariffs would start to hamper economic growth.

The GSO has however warned exporters and importers to be prepared for any eventuality given the ongoing trade war between the USA and China.

The White House's thoughts on increasing the proposed tariffs were first reported by Bloomberg.

Officials have cautioned that a specific timetable, the issues to be discussed and the format for talks aren't finalized, but added there was agreement among the principals that more discussions need to take place.

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The drop in the PMI, a key indicator of manufacturing health in the world's second-largest economy, came as Trump's administration proposed a 25 percent tariff on another $200 billion in Chinese goods, up from an earlier 10 percent plan.

It would represent a ramping up of pressure over Washington's trade standoff with Beijing.

The U.S. Trade Representative's office initially had set a deadline for final public comments on the 10 percent proposed tariffs to be filed by August 30, with public hearings scheduled for August 20-23. China retaliated with tariffs of its own, and the us countered with tariffs on $34 billion in additional Chinese imports with tariffs on an additional $16 billion scheduled to take effect as soon as Wednesday.

The Federal Reserve has raised interest rates seven times since the end of 2015, taking the Federal Funds rate range to between 1.75% and 2%.

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"It's fair to say we all share the same concern that should Section 232 be applied, countries will consider their options", Mexico's undersecretary of foreign trade, Juan Carlos Baker, said in an interview after the meeting. "But there's nothing you can do about 25".

Ed Bryztwa, director of worldwide trade at the American Chemistry Council, was especially concerned about the additional tariffs, even before the threat of more than doubling the tariff rate.

"Given the scope of the products covered, about half of all imports from China are facing tariffs, including consumer goods", Ennis said.

The higher tariffs are not a done deal. The rising tensions between the two nations have weighed on stock and currency markets, with the Chinese yuan falling against the dollar. The combined total of over $500 billion of goods would cover virtually all Chinese imports into the United States. "Tariffs are an unacceptable gamble with the USA economy and the stakes continue to rise with no end in sight". "We advise the United States to be level-headed and avoid simply acting on impulse, otherwise it will ultimately hurt itself".

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Investors fear an escalating trade war between Washington and Beijing could hit global economic growth, and prominent USA business groups, while tired of what they see as China's mercantilist trade practices, have condemned Trump's aggressive tariffs.

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