Trade war could hurt these economies far more than US, China

US President Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump

Investors watching the trade tit-for-tat between the United States and China may well have reason to fear the havoc a full blown conflict between the world's two biggest economies could wreak on the global economy.

U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to raise duties on up to $450 billion of imports from China. As an example, Chinese companies are reselling United States soybeans, and Chinese companies are expected to cancel most of the remaining soybeans they have committed to buy from the U.S. in the year ending August 31, once the extra tariffs take effect.

The United States plans to implement tariffs on Dollars 50 billion worth of imports from China as both nations remained locked in a bitter trade dispute that has convulsed global financial markets in recent weeks.

"U.S. measures are essentially attacking global supply and value chains". Beijing has said retaliatory tariffs on USA goods ranging from soybeans to pork will go into effect immediately after the US acts.

"U.S. citizens visiting or residing in China have been arbitrarily interrogated or detained for reasons related to 'state security, ' " the State Department advisory said.

"China will not bow in the face of threats and blackmail", he added.

Both Chinese and USA business sources in China said there appeared to be little hope that the tariffs could be averted.

Hungary, whose biggest trading partner outside the European Union is the United States, enjoys large investment inflows thanks to a large manufacturing base, particularly in the auto sector.

Chinese stocks slipped on Thursday and the yuan gave back some of its recent gains against the dollar as a targeted cut of reserve requirements for banks took effect amid heightened the trade tensions.

Some prominent Chinese experts say Beijing may have miscalculated the pain the USA tariffs could inflict on export manufacturers' already razor-thin margins, and overplayed its hand. "Security personnel have detained and/or deported US citizens for sending private electronic messages critical of the Chinese government".

Chinese exporters of tools, lighting and appliances say US orders have shrunk as customers wait to see what will happen to prices.

China's additional tariffs on some import products from the United States will be implemented immediately after the new USA tariffs take effect, the country's customs authority said Thursday.

A United States industry source said: "There is a 99 per cent chance that tariffs go into force on Friday".

"Washington can not contain China's growth through a trade war", read the headline of an editorial Thursday in the Global Times, a party newspaper.

U.S. tariffs meant to punish China for allegedly unfair trading practices are due to take effect on Friday.

Beijing will hit back with tariffs initially on almost US$30 billion in U.S. goods, also taking effect Friday, including vehicles and many agricultural and food products, such as soybeans, which will hit United States farmers hard.

The size of the Chinese trade surplus with the USA limits Beijing's ability to inflict damage on American exports by a factor of nearly three to one.

US companies ranging from whiskey distilleries to automakers like Ford and Tesla could be hit if China ramps up retaliatory measures.

Chinese consumers and businesses will bear the brunt as prices rise thanks to higher tariffs.

Beijing time is 12 hours ahead of Washington.

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