One of the cited reasons behind today's market slide which started in Asia and promptly swept the rest of the globe, is a belated appreciation of Tuesday's news that the Trump administration is now considering more than doubling proposed tariffs on a further $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25%, up from an original 10%. The timing of Friday's announcement hinted at that conflict. But nothing hit as hard and quickly as the rapidly escalating trade war with the U.S.
Talks with China and Canada, however, have remained very frosty, and Trump has promised to punish both economies if he doesn't get his way.
In May, China announced that it would cut tariffs on imported cars from 25% to 15% on 1 July in a move seen as an attempt to reduce trade tensions with the US. Mnuchin is more in favour of coming to an agreement that would bring about a reduction in the United States deficit.
On Saturday, President Donald Trump praised his tariff plan and insisted, "steelworkers are working again, and big dollars are flowing into our Treasury". "They are really hurting their economy".
China says the United States is deliberately creating the trade conflict, using bullying tactics, and ignoring worldwide negotiating norms so that it can stop the rise of China as an competitor on the world stage.
PRESIDENT Donald Trump defended his use of tariffs that have inflamed tensions with China and Europe, telling an audience of diehard supporters on Saturday that playing hardball on trade is "my thing".
China's imports from the United States a year ago totaled $153.9 billion. The new list included more machinery and aerospace products.
Officials in Beijing are reported to be unwilling to commit to any further discussions unless the White House can decide on who is the point person in charge. The U.S. can buy more because the economy is strong.
"President Trump inherited an unfair trade regime where American workers and American companies were not treated reciprocally or fairly by the Chinese, and the efforts of the Trump administration are to right that, to correct that", Pompeo told reporters on the sidelines of a regional forum in Singapore.
The move was meant to bring China back to the negotiating table for talks over US demands for structural changes to the Chinese economy and a cut in the bilateral trade deficit.
"We urge the United States to come to its senses, correct its erroneous acts and create the necessary condition for a proper settlement as soon as possible", spokesman Geng Shuang said.
Trump campaigned on a promise to bring down America's massive trade deficits by renegotiating trade agreements and getting tough on countries like China that sell the USA far more than they buy from it.
The US trade deficit - the gap between exports and imports - widened by 7.3% to $46.3bn in June.
The U.S. -China trade relationship is estimated at $650 billion annually. China has denied violating worldwide trade norms.
Trump's tariffs target goods the White House says benefit from industrial policies such as "Made in China 2025", which calls for developing Chinese competitors in robotic, artificial intelligence and other fields.