Wall Street falls as Trump greenlights China tariffs

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"It is hard to see how tariffs that hurt USA companies and US consumers will advance the Government's objectives with respect to China's technology policies", Apple said in its letter.

"This survey affirms our concerns: tariffs are already negatively impacting US companies and the imposition of a proposed $200 billion tranche will bring a lot more pain", said AmCham Shanghai chairman Eric Zheng. The US President is trying to bring off his trifecta of trade deals after nailing the Europeans and the Mexicans with trade concessions, in the wake of his threats to nuke their products with tariffs.

If the United States imposed new levies on Chinese imports then Beijing "will not hesitate to take countermeasures against US tariffs to safeguard China's interests", it added.

According to a Tuesday report by the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post, the Chinese government has suspended issuing new licenses to American companies that want to conduct business in China. They said almost one-third are thinking about canceling or postponing investment decisions.

The chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China warned the Trump administration might be underestimating China's resolve to fight back.

The two chambers of commerce on Thursday urged the USA and Chinese governments to resume negotiations.

Economists and traders have become increasingly skeptical that China's economy can support its rapid development.

Businesses remained optimistic about near-term prospects, but worries about trade prompted some to scale back or postpone capital investment plans, according to the Fed's survey, known as the Beige Book, released Wednesday.

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Another business group, the U.S.

Zoom out from the automotive sector, and more than 60% of American companies in China said they have been affected by the tit-for-tat spat.

China's foreign ministry on Thursday said it welcomed the invitation from the USA side, led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, for renewed dialogue on trade after low-level talks in Washington last month fizzled without results.

Some 63.6 percent of more than 430 companies that responded to the American chambers' survey said profits and customer demand have fallen due to the US tariffs and 62.5 percent said the same about retaliatory Chinese tariffs. Some 67.6 percent said the same of China's planned retaliatory tariffs on $60 of American goods.

Some 52.1 percent of companies said Chinese authorities are slowing customs clearances, increasing inspections or imposing other "qualitative measures".

About 30% of firms said they were shifting parts of their supply chains away from China and the United States to buy components from other places. The Chinese government has dismissed the complaints as "groundless".

But analysts say the newest series of tariffs would be a particularly deep cut for both economies, and would likely come ahead of November midterm elections, with recent polls showing Trump and the Republican Party may be vulnerable in the House of Representatives.

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