Trump renews China tariff threat, Asia stocks dip (Lead)
Washington, May 6 (IANS) Asian stock markets on Monday plunging after US President Donald Trump threatened to impose fresh trade tariffs worth $200 billion on Chinese goods in an attempt to force additional concessions ahead of final negotiations between Beijing and Washington to end a tit-for-tat trade war.
In a series of tweets on Sunday night, the President warned that he would lift tariffs on Friday on a bundle of Chinese goods to 25 per cent from the current 10 per cent threshold, reactivating a threat he removed months ago just as it appears the two economic super-powers are on their way to a deal, CNN reported.
Trump alsowarned his administration could tax nearly all of the roughly $500 billion of Chinese exports to the US.
As a result, the Shanghai Composite Index dropped around 5 per cent by midday Monday, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was more than 3 per cent lower. Japanese markets were closed for a public holiday.
The announcement also hit US stocks, sending Dow futures down more than 500 points early Monday morning. The broader S&P 500 was set to open down 2.1 per cent. Nasdaq futures were down 2.3 per cent.
The Nasdaq includes a large number of technology stocks that could be hit particularly hard by higher tariffs on Chinese products.
Trump renewed threats came as the US and China gear up for another round of trade talks starting Wednesday.
China is now considering cancelling the talks, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
Trump on Sunday also said that talks between the two nations were progressing "too slowly" and suggested that the Chinese were trying to "renegotiate" the deal.
The President has already imposed tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods.
He had previously threatened more tariffs, but delayed that increase as he cited "substantial progress" in trade talks, which had moved far enough along that he predicted a signing ceremony with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at some point soon, The New York Times reported.
The US has been pressing for a pact that would open business opportunities in China for American companies, require China to buy more American goods and end its practice of forcing American firms to hand over valuable technology and trade secrets as a condition of doing business there.
The Chinese in turn have insisted that Trump drop all of his tariffs before they agree to a deal, a position that has frustrated the President.