Trump administration considering sanctions over Chinese hackers

Ann Santiago
September 8, 2018

"That totally changes the equation".

His comments, which contradicted the more diplomatic remarks earlier Friday from his top economic adviser, sent the stock market plunging amid fears of the economic damage that could result from the multi-front trade war he pursues. China has said it's ready to impose retaliatory tariffs on $60 billion of USA goods.

United States stocks plummetted on Friday as the news broke, with The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropping around 140 points in little over half an hour.

China is ready to retaliate if U.S. President Donald Trump goes ahead with a tariff hike on Chinese goods and is confident it can maintain "steady and healthy" economic growth, a government spokesman said Thursday.

The implementation of tariffs on $200 billion of products from China "will take place very soon depending on what happens", Trump told reporters on Air Force One on Friday.

Trump's threatened tariffs, now totalling $US517 billion in Chinese goods, would exceed the $US505 billion in goods imported from China previous year.

Those steps include slapping tariffs on $60 billion of United States imports, Gao said.

The tariffs would potentially hurt US companies that import everything from handbags to bicycle tires.

"[China] structurally is geared toward being sort of the parasite of the world", White House National Trade Council Director Peter Navarro said during an interview on FOX Business' "Lou Dobbs Tonight" on Friday.

Most comments were from companies seeking to remove products from the tariff list, arguing there were few, if any alternative sources and the duties would cause financial hardship.

Major technology company Apple Inc (AAPL.O) said a "wide range" of its products would be hit by the tariffs, but not its iPhone.

Trump is getting a last-minute earful from prominent technology companies and retailers as he considers whether to follow through with his plan to ratchet up tariffs on Chinese exports.

Kudlow, who heads the National Economic Council, told CNBC the administration was still talking with China about trade issues but so far China had not met US requests.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer held another day of meetings with Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland on a rewrite of the North American Free Trade Agreement, after reaching a deal last week with Mexico.

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