Markets Drop as U.S.-China Trade War Escalates

As the trade war between the U.S. and China grows markets dropped precipitously on Friday.

As White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders insisted years of Chinese policies were to blame for the tit-for-tat tariffs imposed by the world’s largest two economies against one another, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 700 points.

Meanwhile, Trump’s administration insists that there is no trade war even as trade groups in Washington and GOP lawmakers are expressing alarm at the back and forth.

“We are not in a trade war,” insisted White House Chief Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow, who before joining the administration served as a longtime CNBC host and was seen as a free-trade advocate. “What this is is an attempt to right some of the wrongs with respect to China,” he said.

According to The Hill, the sense that the trade war was intensifying mounted Thursday when President Trump surprised observers by announcing a possible expansion of U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods by $100 billion. Trump had previously announced $50 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods as a response to intellectual property concerns in China, and $3 billion in tariffs on aluminum and steel imports.

“It makes us nervous, for sure,” said Aaron Low, senior vice president of regulatory and government affairs at the Auto Care Association, a group that advocates on behalf of the auto repair industry.

However, China has already retaliated for the first $53 billion in U.S. tariffs and is expected to respond to the next $100 billion if they are implemented.

American Chemistry Council (ACC) President and CEO Cal Dooley, a former Democratic congressman from California, said the tariffs amounted to misguided economic policy.

“When we have the administration implementing import tariffs primarily targeted at some of the less competitive industries, what we’re seeing is retaliation against the most competitive industries, the ones that are growing and creating jobs,” he said.

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