U.S. stocks trade lower after Trump's trade move

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The ministry announced the measures in reaction to tariffs the USA had placed on steel and aluminum imports earlier in March.

What he really seems to want is more made-for-TV moments where he can stand in front of the camera with a world leader or business executive and take credit for something changing because of him. "China can sustain pain much longer than the US can, and it has the ability to harass numerous American companies operating in China".

As the following graphic shows, the frequency of Trump's tweets touting the stock market upswing increased towards the second half of 2017 as the S&P 500, a broad index of US stock prices, hit a series of record highs.

Trump campaigned on promises to bring down America's trade deficit, which stood at $566 billion previous year, by rewriting trade agreements and cracking down on what he called abusive commercial practices by USA trading partners.

On Friday, the Chinese commerce ministry said China will levy duties on up to $3 billion of us imports in response to the steel and aluminum tariffs, which appeared modest by comparison to the USA penalties.

China has assembled a list of 128 USA products in total that could be targeted if the two countries are unable to reach an agreement on trade issues, the ministry said. Chinese operations of foreign companies generate about 60% of China's trade surplus, according to the Commerce Ministry.

How bad will the U.S.

The U.S. argues it needs a strong steel and aluminum industry to reinforce domestic production of warships, fighter planes and other national defense requirements.

When the USA offered the country the chance to negotiate a solution to resolve the situation and fix their relationship with the US they, instead, denied it.

"This has been long in the making", Trump said signing the intellectual-property order, adding that the tariffs could affect as much as $60 billion in goods. Investors may have been particularly skittish after Trump looked into the camera during the signing and told the world, "This is the first of many".

Despite securing an exemption for now, European Union officials meeting in Brussels complained about the US approach.

Alex Capri studies global trade at the National University of Singapore. Trump's announcement comes a seven-month investigation into the intellectual property theft, which has been a longstanding point of contention in US-China trade relations, CNN reported. "Even so, it remains way short of his campaign pledges and-at a maximum-will shave a fraction of a percent off Chinese GDP over a number of years".

In applying the steel and aluminum tariffs, Trump's main concern is that China has for years overproduced steel and aluminum, depressing prices globally and causing job losses in other countries, like the USA but also in Europe.

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The Chinese list also included close to 80 fruit and nut products.

The U.S. Trade Representative will publish a "long list" of proposed tariffs within 15 days.

"I think it's important to realize that China has said this, but it hasn't been implemented", said David Preisler, CEO of the Minnesota Pork Producers Association.

It further warned that a 15 percent tariff amounting to $1 billion on 120 goods including fresh fruit, nuts and wine would be imposed if the United States fails to reach a "trade compensation agreement" within an unspecified timeframe. Canada and Mexico have been given initial exemptions from the 25 percent steel and 10 percent aluminum tariffs.

Economists said the impact of the tariffs announced until now may be limited.

Those products could see a 15% duty, while a 25% tariff could be imposed on USA pork and recycled aluminium goods.

The measures are to "balance out the loss sustained by China" through Washington's move to impose steel and aluminium tariffs on imports, the ministry continued.

The tit-for-tat trade skirmish has raised worries that this confrontation between the two economic powers is more than just a negotiating ploy and could morph into a more serious full-blown trade war.

GOP Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, the committee chairman, said he was "deeply disappointed in the decision to impose global tariffs to address a problem caused by China". Central bankers have also sounded warnings.

The proposed new tariffs from the USA are to be submitted to President Trump in about two weeks.

In a harshly worded statement, the Chinse Embassy in Washington said Beijing was "not afraid of and will not recoil from a trade war".

"We strongly call on the USA government to work together with the Chinese government to resolve disputes in a constructive way and avert the outbreak of a trade war", it said in a statement on its website.

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