Tech sector frets as US-China trade tensions simmer

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Trade war tensions have been brewing between the world's two biggest economies over recent weeks, with the U.S. threatening tariffs on $150bn (£106bn) of Chinese imports, including automobiles.

In his tweet on Sunday, Trump said he and Chinese President Xi Jinping would always be friends despite the dispute, adding: "China will take down its Trade Barriers because it is the right thing to do".

The comments from both countries followed a week of escalating tariff threats sparked by US frustration with China's trade and intellectual property policies, worrying financial markets over potential damage to global growth. "Xi's apparent desire to balance out his country's worldwide payments is clearly great news for countries and companies selling goods to China".

China's President Xi Jinping appeared to strike a conciliatory tone during a speech Tuesday where he promised to cut China's auto import tariffs and ease restrictions on foreign ownership in its auto industry as tensions play out with Washington over tariffs.

The two countries have threatened each other with tens of billions worth of tariffs in recent days and Chinese officials have said this is not the time for negotiations.

The president made fixing the trade imbalance with China a centerpiece of his presidential campaign, where he frequently used incendiary language to describe how Beijing would "rape" the USA economically.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump was working with his team "to determine how best to respond to China's attack on American farmers" and had asked the Agriculture Department to provide him with a plan to protect USA farmers. Beijing responded with its own $50 billion list of US goods for possible retaliation.

After repeated pledges by Beijing to open up sectors such as financial services have yielded little substantial progress, Trump has said the United States will no longer let China take advantage of it on trade.

"This is a problem caused by China, not a problem caused by President Trump", Kudlow said on "Fox News Sunday".

However, experts warn that 2018 could be a different story, calling a trade war between the two gargantuan economies increasingly likely. We'll make it up to them.

Further escalation could be in the offing.

After remarks from his Chinese counterpart, Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan vowed to "double down" on free trade and economic liberalization in tandem with China.

"The solutions for these problems are not to put globalization to question, but to improve globalization".

In the meetings, Wang attacked what he called "protectionism and unilateralism", though he didn't single out the United States by name.

"China's door of opening up will not be closed and will only open wider", said Xi at the Boao Forum for Asia on the southern island of Hainan. Geng uttered, the current trade frictions is "entirely at the provocation of the United States".

Information for this article was contributed by Jonathan Lemire, Hope Yen, Thomas Strong and Dake Kang of The Associated Press; and by Ros Krasny, Shobhana Chandra and Mark Niquette of Bloomberg News.

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