Fears of an all-out trade war with the U.S. heightened after China announced it would impose 25 percent tariffs on over a hundred U.S. goods including aircraft, cars, and chemicals. The swift response from Beijing came just hours after Washington announced its latest raft of tariffs on over 1300 Chinese products.
"I can tell everyone that China has done a lot of work and shown sincerity in maintaining communication on this issue," China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a media conference. "But the best opportunities to properly solve the issue through dialogue have been repeatedly missed."
In what could be seen as a calculated move China's list of targets included key U.S agricultural exports including soybeans, frozen beef and cotton. These are commodities produced in states from Iowa to Texas, where many people voted for Trump in the 2016 presidential election.
U.S. President Donald Trump, who has long argued that his predecessors served the United States badly in trade matters, rejecting the notion that the tit-for-tat moves amount to a trade war.
China ran a $375 billion goods trade surplus with the United States in 2017. Trump has demanded that China cut the trade gap by $100 billion.
Once again markets were hit by the latest announcement. By mid-morning in New York, shares in U.S. aerospace giant Boeing Co were down 3.3 percent while agricultural machinery maker Deere & Co had slipped 3.9 percent.