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

On Thursday he proposed a fresh round of tariffs on an additional $100 billion in Chinese imports and promised to protect American farmers hurt by Chinese tariffs, a move sure to rile other U.S. trade partners.

Because the country exports far more in goods to the United States than it imports, China simply doesn't have as much room to keep up with escalating American tariffs, especially given the Chinese government's desire to cushion its citizens from higher prices for food staples.

Concerns over the economic impact of a potential trade war with China are rising, causing jitters on Wall Street and buffeted the markets Friday, with the Dow diving more than 700 points before paring losses and closing down 572 points.

The US president has said he will impose steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, which would hit China. He's also asked for a $100 billion reduction in the US trade deficit with China, about a third of the total gap recorded previous year.

Soybean exporters are expected to prioritize the shipping of goods from South America to China, and to export soybean from the United States to Europe.

On Wednesday, China announced its intentions to impose tariffs on $50 billion worth of imports from the USA as a tit-for-tat response to a similar plan announced by the American side in late-March.

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"In 2016, Limestone County produced the most soybeans in Alabama with 2.2 million bushels", according to the Alabama Farmers Federation.

Chinese state media yesterday denounced Mr Trump's latest threat, with nationalistic tabloid Global Times saying it reflected "the deep arrogance of some American elites in their attitude towards China". "We don't have a trade war, we've lost the trade war", Trump said in a radio interview with NY radio show, 77 WABC's "Bernie & Sid".

The U.S. companies most at risk include Boeing, which past year sold one-fourth of its commercial airplanes to China, and several vehicle makers.

"We know that there could be some fluctuation, but at the same time the president has said enough is enough", said Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.

The move is a high-stakes gamble aimed at cowing China into backing down and forcing it to make the kinds of changes that the USA is seeking - namely reducing the coercive tactics American officials say Beijing uses to try to dominate leading-edge industries. Other U.S. carmakers such as General Motors and Ford Motor also manufacture in China. "And it may eventually lead to the liberalization of trade and even to the isolation of the United States from global processes", he said, adding that the USA may end up being excluded from the liberalization of trade despite championing this process for a long time.

Corporate executives, who only weeks ago thought they had successfully contained Trump's impulses on immigration and trade, are now unsure what is coming next or what it will do to the economy. "Perhaps there will be some fruitful negotiations", he said. "This is just a proposed idea", Trump economic adviser Larry Kudlow told reporters Friday morning. Those tariffs have yet to go into effect. Within hours Beijing retaliated with the promise to hike levies on $50 billion worth of United States imports by 25 percent.

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