This morning U.S. President Donald Trump defended the ongoing trade dispute between the United States and China, saying it may cause some disruption for the economy in the near term but that it will all be worth it in the end.
A White House official later said the $100 billion figure Trump used in the statement referred to the value of the imports that would be covered by the additional tariffs, not the total amount of tax that would be charged on the products. The United States exported $15 billion of aircraft to China in 2016, ranking it equally with agricultural products like soybeans, according USA trade data.
In the case of the China-U.S. squabble, Trump imposed aluminum and steel tariffs in early March in order to protect those American industries. Those tariffs would take effect if the USA implements its own proposed tariffs, announced earlier in the week, targeting a similar value of Chinese goods.
The clash reflects the tension between Trump's promises to narrow a US trade deficit with China that stood at $375.2 billion in goods past year and the ruling Communist Party's development ambitions.
It added: "If the United States disregards the opposition of China and the worldwide community, and insists on unilateralist and protectionist trade practices, the Chinese side will follow through to the end and will not hesitate to fight back at any cost".
The US is the second-biggest soya bean supplier to China, after Brazil.
As news spread of Trump's latest threat, stock futures trading pointed to the Dow Jones Industrial Average opening over 400 points down.
While the broader USA equity market recovered somewhat as the day wore on industrial stocks were still down significantly by late afternoon.
National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow on the Trump administration's trade policies. US officials have sought to downplay the threat of a broader trade dispute, saying a negotiated outcome is still possible.
The ministry has called for a media briefing on Friday night, in an unusual move on a public holiday.
On the political front, Mr Trump's latest announcement has elicited a less-than-friendly reception from some fellow Republicans.
"China and the United States are both big countries in the world and should respect each other and treat each other as equals", he added. He said the administration anticipated U.S. agriculture would be the first point of retaliation and said Trump "will have the backs" of America's farmers.
Then, on Tuesday, the White House went ahead with tariffs that target manufacturing technology, arguing that Chinese trade practices have unfairly hurt US business.
That followed the release of a U.S. government list of Chinese goods targeted for punitive tariffs in response to complaints Beijing pressures foreign companies to hand over technology.
"The problem with that is these types of punitive import duties don't work in trying to curb the behavior that both the USA and China are trying to establish", said Mike Manjuris, a trade expert at Ryerson University in Toronto.
"Rather than remedy its misconduct, China has chosen to harm our farmers and manufacturers", Trump said. Mr. Trump again echoed that sentiment in his statement Thursday. Beijing has called on the European Union to help it reject U.S. protectionism and uphold the global trade order.
Beijing unveiled plans for painful import duties targeting politically-sensitive USA exports, including soybeans, aircraft and autos, to retaliate against looming U.S. tariffs on more than 1,000 Chinese goods. The President added that he instructed to the USTR also to "identify the products upon which to impose" the additional tariffs.
Trump, who received overwhelming support in rural America in the 2016 presidential election, has directed Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue "to implement a plan to protect our farmers and agricultural interests".
He also left the door open for further talks with the Chinese government.
The White House said the tariffs were a response to unfair Chinese intellectual property practices, such as those that pressure United States companies to share technology with Chinese firms. They warn that disruption to supply chains that rely on Chinese components will ultimately raise costs for consumers. But it's unclear whether the two sides will be able to reach a mutually acceptable deal.
The United States has dominated the global economy for much of the last century, but this fight comes as China - with its population of 1.4 billion - is starting to challenge U.S. hegemony.