WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump on Thursday directed U.S. trade officials to identify tariffs on $100 billion more Chinese imports, upping the ante in an already high-stakes trade confrontation between the world’s two largest economies.
The further tariffs were being considered “in light of China’s unfair retaliation” against earlier U.S. trade actions, which included a proposed $50 billion of tariffs on Chinese goods, Trump said in a White House statement.
“This is what a trade war looks like, and what we have warned against from the start,” said National Retail Federation President and CEO Matthew Shay.
“We are on a dangerous downward spiral and American families will be on the losing end,” Shay added in a statement, urging Trump “to stop playing a game of chicken with the U.S. economy.”
Financial markets, roiled for days by the trade fight and Trump’s management of it, whipsawed again on the new threat. After a bullish regular trading day, U.S. equity futures sold off sharply in after-market-hours trading.
U.S. stock futures ESc1 slid 1 percent and the dollar dipped against other major currencies .DXY, while Asian shares flitted in and out of positive territory. Chinese markets were closed for a holiday.
Doug Kass, who runs hedge fund Seabreeze Partners Management Inc, added: “Our president is going to make market volatility and economic uncertainty great again.”
In his statement, Trump said the U.S. Trade Representative had determined that China “has repeatedly engaged in practices to unfairly obtain America’s intellectual property.”
The tit-for-tat escalation of tariff announcements, which have stirred fears that trade unfolded surprisingly rapidly . They have