Then, in a game of tit-for-tat, the U.S. plans to impose tariffs of 25 percent on $34 billion of goods from China's aerospace and information-technology sectors - as well as auto parts and medical instruments.
Retaliatory measures "took effect immediately", said a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, Lu Kang.
The US is "opening fire" on the world with its threatened tariffs, China said yesterday, adding that it would respond the instant US measures go into effect as Beijing ramped up the rhetoric in a bitter trade dispute.
Companies worry the spiraling dispute could chill global economic growth, but Asian financial markets took Friday's developments in stride.
Chinese stocks actually rose after the announcement, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index up almost one per cent and the Shenzhen index climbing more than one per cent. Japan's Nikkei 225 index gained 1.4 percent while the Shanghai Composite index jumped 0.7 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng surged 0.8 percent.
"In a gaggle aboard Air Force One Thursday, Trump all but confirmed that he was following through with his threats, ticking through the additional tariffs he planned to levy after the initial salvo kicked in: ".
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34 and then you have another 16 in two weeks, and then, as you know, we have 200 billion in abeyance, and then after the 200 billion we have 300 billion in abeyance.
Moreover, it's not inherently misguided to get tough with China over its relentless mercantilism, which has long disadvantaged USA businesses and which more recently took the form of a "Made in China 2025" policy that seeks dominance for the People's Republic in cutting-edge technology.
USA officials accuse China of building that country's emerging industrial dominance by stealing the "crown jewels" of American technological know-how through cyber-theft, forced transfers of intellectual property, state-sponsored corporate acquisitions and other underhand practices.
Chinese officials reject accusations of theft and say no foreign company is obligated to share technology.
The widely read Global Times tabloid said in an editorial that China must prepare for containment by the United States. "Any unilateral pressure will be futile".
A China central bank adviser said the planned United States import tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods - $34 billion plus a planned follow-on list worth $16 billion - will cut China's economic growth by 0.2 percentage points, the official Xinhua news agency reported Friday.
"This is a potential concern for the outlook of corporate investment and consumption around world", said Hui.
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The official China Daily newspaper accused the Trump administration of "behaving like a gang of hoodlums".
"If this ends at $34 billion, it will have a marginal effect on both economies, but if it escalates to $500 billion like Trump said then it's going to have a big impact for both countries", Chen said.
Despite this, Liang says he is not concerned about his business, noting if the U.S. don't want his flags, he can always work for someone else.
The American Chamber of Commerce in China appealed to both sides to negotiate a settlement.
The threat of a trade war has become a reality.
"From the stitching on our red Make America Great Again (MAGA) hats to the aluminum of our Women For Trump water bottles, we put America First and take great pride in selling 100 per cent 'Made in the USA" products to our supporters throughout the country'. "At that point, the United States will be more interested in negotiations, and the Chinese side will also want to come to the table".
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