"We suspect the Trump team will push ahead with these policies (which will elicit reciprocal tariffs from China and the EU) until USA equities start to crumble and polls move against Trump", wrote ING strategists in a research note. Automaker stocks there took a hit after Trump last week threatened new duties on European autos.
C'mon Donald get negotiating before we all lose more money on the stock market and in our super funds! And what about the restrictions makes Wall Street so anxious?
The US slapped tariffs on European Union steel and aluminium on May 31 and has more on $US50 billion worth of Chinese goods, including aircraft tires, agricultural machinery, and printer parts, set to take effect July 6. Other major USA indexes also finished lower on the first trading day of the week.
While China's technological advance has, so far, been rapid, we shouldn't expect "one big moment where Chinese companies gain the ultimate competitive advantage", Zenglein predicts.
The Treasury Department on Friday is due to announce restrictions on Chinese investment in the U.S.as well as enhanced export controls, as part of the Trump administration's actions taken under Section 301 to respond to China's alleged theft of USA intellectual property.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 328.09 points, or 1.33 percent, to 24,252.8, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 37.81 points, or 1.37 percent, to 2,717.07, and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 160.81 points, or 2.09 percent, to 7,532.01. CNN confirmed some of those details Monday. The administration is expected to justify imposing the curbs by declaring an economic emergency using the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, or IEEPA, people familiar with the plans said. That includes the aerospace, robotics and automotive industries.
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Mnuchin tweeted that these reports were "false, fake news", although he did not deny that the plans existed - only that they would be applied not just to China.
"People are scared", said Wayne Kaufman, chief market analyst at Phoenix Financial Services in NY. "This is not the plan", trade adviser Peter Navarro said in an interview with CNBC on Monday.
That seemed to reassure investors somewhat, though the market anxiety didn't completely disappear.
The two measures are set to be announced by the end of the week, and are meant to counter Beijing's Made in China 2025 - a Chinese initiative to be a global leader in technology.
The new investment rules could cut off access to some foreign capital - exactly the type of government intervention that scares businesses.
"Whether or not they do, the uncertainty is probably already damaging confidence and investment".
The spat was preceded by a US Commerce Department investigation begun in May to evaluate the national security risks of importing cars and auto parts to the US from foreign markets.
That panel has become more aggressive under Trump, especially on China.