Fears that a simmering trade spat between the world's top two economies could spiral into a full-blown trade war - with painful consequences for China's neighbours - was among the topics dominating discussions at a regional summit in Singapore on Saturday.
What exists in fact is just a couple billion dollars of actual tariffs on steel and aluminum imposed by the U.S. on Europe and a similar amount of token tariffs implemented by Europe on select United States imports to Europe.
China's decision to threaten $60 billion of US goods marks the first time this year that Beijing has not tried to match Washington's tariffs dollar for dollar.
March 15: President Trump signed an executive order to impose a 25 percent tariff on steel and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports from China and several other countries. So this unifies NAFTA and U.S., Europe, Australia, Japan.
"Virtually nothing has happened in a trade dialogue with China in a month or six weeks", Kudlow said.
"China will not rush to compete with US numbers", it said, echoing comments made by state television. Every country on earth wants to take wealth out of the USA, always to our detriment. Washington also wants China to stop subsidising Chinese companies with cheap loans, claiming that this allows them to compete unfairly.
Trump announced a further round of 25 percent of tariffs June 15 on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods. National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said in a Bloomberg Television interview Friday. The president is not about to back down.
He predicted that the U.S. market will "go up dramatically" after the "horrible Trade Deals" are successfully renegotiated.
"Their economy's weak, their currency is weak, people are leaving the country".
Third, it is demanding stringent limits and reductions in China's current policy requiring USA nextgen technology transfer from U.S. businesses operating in China.
Those "longstanding concerns" centre on two key issues: the acquisition and development by China of advanced technology in the fields of communications, robotics and artificial intelligence; and the state subsides provided to companies. He said his administration would continue to employ tariffs if other nations were unwilling to come to the table on trade.
The escalation has business leaders on both sides anxious about where this will end up.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, however, remained staunch on Washington's push for fairer trading conditions with China.
And the response from Europe has been a mere $3 billion in counter-tariffs on U.S. imports. They include liquefied natural gas or LNG, metals and agriculture products, like flour and smoked beef. Last year, China imported about $130 billion in goods from the United States. Taken in totality, the new Chinese proposals will cover $60 billion in United States imports.
China has said new duties will be applied only if Washington pulls the trigger on its new tariffs. China imported $130 billion in goods from the United States in 2017, according to USA figures. From Apple to General Motors, a long list of large USA enterprises have transferred extensive operations to China and could be vulnerable to any response from Beijing. Helicopters with an empty weight of less than 2 tonnes were also on that list.