A man pulls a trolley with goods past a bench shaped like a bomb and with a U.S. flag outside a store in Beijing

The Trump administration took a direct hit at China on Tuesday for its trade practices, detailing more than 1,300 imported goods from the country that would face a 25 percent tariff.

Cui and State Department officials said the meeting had been arranged before Washington announced proposed USA tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese products, a move that provoked Chinese retaliation.

There's absolutely no trade war happening right now between China and the U.S.

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Porter said that FireEye, which monitors more than two-dozen groups linked to the Chinese government, has observed espionage activity continue against USA firms, including those producing sensitive military technology like satellite navigation systems and semiconductors.

China's move is in retaliation to the Trump administration announcing Tuesday that it would to impose tariffs on about 1,300 Chinese goods worth about $50 billion annually.

The new tariffs mark a significant escalation of the brewing trade war between the world's two largest economies - with the $100 billion worth of goods cumulatively targeted representing about 17 percent of the $580 billion in two-way trade past year.

Shares of Caterpillar, also a big exporter to China, fell 2.4 per cent.

The list includes parts of communication satellites, semiconductors, aviation equipment and brewery machinery, as well as more niche products such as bakery ovens and rocket launchers.

Hormel Foods jumped $1.88, or 5.5 percent, to $36.10 and Tyson Foods rose $1.62, or 2.3 percent, to $71.55.

"The Chinese government has nonetheless responded more aggressively to the tariff list than many had expected", noted Julian Evans-Pritchard, senior China economist at Capital Economics, in a research note.

As for the scuffle with China, Kotok said he's hopeful that much of this is bluster from the Trump administration. Futures for Soybeans, a big USA export to China, fell 2.2 percent on the CBOT.

USTR made it clear that the products subject to the additional duties will be finalized only after further review in a public notice and comment process, including a hearing.

USA companies have until May 22 to raise objections and a public hearing is scheduled for May 15 in Washington, DC. On Monday, it put into effect tariffs on about $3 billion worth of U.S. imports, including wine, pork, fruit and steel pipes.

The implementation date of China's retaliatory tariffs depends on the outcome of bilateral negotiations, and the USA decisions, Deputy Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao told reporters after a news conference in Beijing.

A USTR official said the product list got an initial scrub by removing products identified as likely to cause disruptions to the USA economy and those that needed to be excluded for legal reasons.

However, there was no evidence yet of an organized campaign to stoke anti-U.S. behavior, or that consumers were yet shunning US goods in any numbers.

The Trump administration is urging China to lower tariffs on cars and open its market to USA financial services as part of talks to resolve a rise in trade tensions, a person familiar with the matter said earlier this month.

President Moon Jae-in said growing trade protectionism and trade conflict between the USA and China could hurt the Korean economy, and he urged the country to prepare.

A USTR official said the tariff list targeted products that benefit from China's industrial policies, including the "Made in China 2025" program, which aims to replace advanced technology imports with domestic products and build a dominant position in future industries. China is installing more robots than any other nation as its vast manufacturing industry increases automation to move up the value chain. It even pushed one farm group to put out a TV ad with a Trump supporter, imploring the President to change course: NEW AD: We are up with a new TV ad asking that @realDonaldTrump listen to #farmers and rural families who will be hurt by new tariffs. China is the biggest buyer of USA soybeans, picking up about a third of the entire US crop.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in commodities, securities or other financial instruments.

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