Earlier this week, the US President threatened to hit $200 billion of Chinese imports with 10 percent tariffs if China retaliates against the previous targeting of $50 million in imports.
On Thursday, China’s Commerce Ministry accused the US of being “capricious” over bilateral trade issues and warned that the interests of its workers and farmers would be impacted by Washington’s penchant for brandishing “big sticks”.
Now the Chinese media have rounded on Mr Trump, with the official Chine Daily writing in an editorial that the US had failed to understand that the business it does with China supported millions of American jobs and therefore the US approach made no sense whatsoever.
The English-language newspaper cited research by the Rhodium Group which reveals that Chinese investment in the US plummeted 92 percent to $1.8 billion during the first five months of 2018 – falling to its lowest level in seven years.
Under the editorial headlined ‘Protectionism symptom of paranoid delusions’, it said: “The woes the administration is inflicting on Chinese companies do not simply translate into boons for US enterprises and the US economy.
“The fast-shrinking Chinese investment in the U.S. reflects the damage being done to China-US trade relations by the trade crusade of Trump and his trade hawks.”
Taiwanese company Foxconn, which makes Apple iPhones and has a heavy presence in China, said the trade war between the two global superpowers is its biggest challenge.
Chairman Terry Gou sad: “What they are fighting is not really a trade war, it’s a tech war. A tech war is also a manufacturing war.
Industry sources have told Reuters that Chinese oil buyers will continue taking crude from the US through September, but plan to reduce future purchases to avoid a likely import tariff.
China has put US energy products, including crude and refined products, on lists of goods that it will hit with import taxes, but there has been no word on when this might take affect.
The latest war of words is just part of an escalating global trade war that the US looks intent on fighting.
On Friday, Mr Trump threatened to impose a 20 percent tariff on all EU-assembled vehicles, a move that could upend the industry’s current business model for selling cars in the US.
The US President wrote on Twitter: “If these tariffs and barriers are not soon broken down and removed, we will be placing a 20 percent tariff on all of their cars coming into the US.
“Build them here!”