China says it is 'shocked' by United States actions in trade dispute

A woman walks past an electronic board showing the Hong Kong share index at a bank in Hong Kong on Tuesday

The list names more than 6,000 items including food products, minerals and consumer goods such as handbags.

China said it is "shocked" after the U.S. announced plans for fresh tariffs, escalating a trade war between the two countries. There is no justification for such action.

President Donald Trump has threatened to tax as much as $US550 billion in Chinese products - an amount that exceeds America's total imports from China a year ago. China's government on Wednesday, July 11, 2018, has criticized the latest US threat of a tariff hike as "totally unacceptable" and vowed to retaliate in their escalating trade war.

The initial USA tariff list focused on Chinese industrial products in an attempt to limit the impact on American consumers.

The S&P 500 and Dow futures dropped 1%, indicating Wall Street would open lower, while Japan's Nikkei declined 1.5%.

The US Chamber of Commerce has supported Trump's domestic tax cuts and efforts to reduce regulation of businesses, but it has been critical of Trump's aggressive tariff policies. The U-S Chamber of Commerce says the proposed measure would ultimately hurt American families.

"Tariffs are taxes, plain and simple". China imported USA goods worth $130 billion past year and Friday's tariff hike hit $34 billion of that, with another $16 billion cited for a possible increase.

Analysts have warned that a spiralling trade war between the world's two financial powerhouses could have a damaging impact on the global economy.

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Louis Kuijs, Hong Kong-based Head of Asia Economics at Oxford Economics, said while he expects China to strongly condemn the U.S. moves, its policy response is likely to be limited for now.

"In part because they have only limited ammunition and in part because it's still early in the process on the USA side", Kuijs said.

Beijing described Washington's latest threat as "totally unacceptable", saying it would hurt the world.

"It is a chaotic time in worldwide trade", said Li.

China's exports have mushroomed since it joined the World Trade Organisation in 2001, making it the world's second-largest economy and prompting widening criticism in recent years from trading partners that it has unfairly used global trade rules to its advantage.

USA policy "actually interferes with the process of economic globalisation" and "damages the world economic order", charged Li.

Although it was not a direct reaction to the new move from Trump's administration, the official English-language newspaper China Daily said in an editorial that Beijing had to stand up to Washington.

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