WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump and China’s government have escalated their trade dispute. China vows to “counterattack with great strength” if Trump follows through on threats to impose tariffs on an additional billion in Chinese goods.
Trump made the move when China threatened to retaliate for the first round of tariffs planned by the United States. But Trump left it unclear whether he was bluffing or willing to enter a protracted trade war pitting the world’s two biggest economies against each other.
The White House sent mixed signals on Friday as financial markets slid from investor concern about a significant trade fight. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (mih-NOO’-shin) told CNBC he was “cautiously optimistic” that the U.S. and China could reach an agreement before any tariffs are implemented.