Wall Street analysts can't agree if the trade war threat is real

Saul Bowman
April 8, 2018

Meanwhile, the nationalist Global Times said in an editorial published late on Thursday that the "Chinese are aware that the only option now is to hit the U.S. hard enough so that it will remember the pain".

It seems that China will match whatever move the U.S. administration makes and is unlikely to buckle under any pressure.

Pres. Trump said the stock market might endure "a little pain" as he protects US trade interests, and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin told CNBC he was not focused on short-term market swings and conceded the possibility of a trade war with China.

Before the latest announcement, US lawmakers had reacted with mounting concern on Thursday over the threat to the American agricultural sector from the trade confrontation with China. Late Thursday afternoon, he announced that his administration was now considering tariffs on an additional $100 billion worth of Chinese goods, which would triple the amount of Chinese exports being targeted. President Donald Trump has said that China must shave $100 billion off that goods deficit.

"Tomorrow the president will announce the actions he has made a decision to take based on USTR's 301 investigation into China's state-led, market-distorting efforts to force, pressure, and steal USA technologies and intellectual property", White House official Raj Shah said in an emailed statement ahead of the announcement.

China said it was not afraid of a trade war, even though it did not seek one, and accused the United States of provoking the conflict.

USA farmers, too, stand to lose their biggest trading partner. Soybean prices fell to their lowest level in two years on Wednesday after China's list came out, Bloomberg reported.

Put simply, a tariff is a tax typically imposed on imported goods.

"We pay the highest tariffs on average of any product", Steve Lamar, executive vice president of the American Apparel and Footwear Association, told CBS MoneyWatch last week.

This could mostly fizzle out, as both the USA and Chinese tariffs are still only in the proposal stage.

Another round of proposed tariffs, another market meltdown.

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