The timing of the announcement, whether deliberately aimed at embarrassing Liu or not, was emblematic of the Trump administration's more confrontational approach to what the United States has long viewed as China's unfair trade practices.
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 USA hegemony.
Bown said the ultimate goal is to put pressure on multiple Republicans in the hopes that some of them will be able to influence Trump.
"Everybody looks at this very scientifically, and they have a lot of political science in this", said Ross Denton, a partner and trade specialist at the law firm Baker McKenzie.
Larry Kudlow, the White House's National Economic Council director, said on Wednesday that both the countries still had time to work out their differences. On the other hand, China's tariffs on USA are well targeted as voters in agricultural states are "falling out of love" with Trump.
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told reporters the USA was "not in a trade war", adding, "China is the problem".
Trump's moves are reverberating beyond US-China ties.
However, officials from the world's two largest economies traded fresh blows on Friday, reigniting concerns that a damaging trade war could be in the offing.
China buys 61 per cent of all the nation's soybean export and more than 30 per cent of the overall U.S. soybean production - a market worth more than US$14 billion. The tariffs originated in a USA effort to stem the almost $500 billion trade deficit in goods with China.
President Donald Trump ratcheted up the trade war rhetoric with China on Thursday evening, saying he was considering another wave of steep tariffs on the country's exports to the United States. On Thursday he said he had instructed United States trade officials to determine whether new tariffs were warranted and, "if so, to identify the products upon which to impose such tariffs". Chinese and USA officials haven't held talks "for a period of time" on any economic or trade issues, Gao said. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the two sides remained in "routine contact".
China's Commerce Ministry spokesman, Gao Feng, on Friday called the punitive steps by the United States as "extremely mistaken", threatened a "fierce counter strike" and said no negotiations were likely in the current circumstances.
So it's not clear that Trump and the GOP are prepared for the fallout from China's retaliatory measures against the first $50 billion worth of Chinese imports he plans to target. He gave no indication what measures Beijing might take.
In August 2017 Washington formally started a trade investigation into China's intellectual property practices and the forced transfer of U.S. technology under Section 301 of USA trade law, which addresses intellectual property. They, therefore, get tremendous perks and advantages, especially over the US.
A weak U.S.jobs report helped push U.S. Treasury prices higher as the economy created the fewest jobs in six months in March, but the market's main focus was on mounting U.S.
The tit-for-tat escalation of tariff announcements, which have stirred fears that trade unfolded surprisingly rapidly. MoC did not say when the new tariffs would come into effect.
The government reported that USA employers added 103,000 jobs in March, a weaker pace than the last few months. That came with the USA considering duties on an additional $100 billion in goods imported from China. It could meddle with USA supply chains by disrupting shipments from Chinese factories to American companies. And there's talk that the USA could also put limits on visas for Chinese who want to visit or study in this country. At the least, Trump tariffs threaten to undermine the GOP's message about tax cuts finally unleashing economic growth. "I think that's eminently doable".
However, Frankfurt, London and Paris equities languished in negative territory on Friday, as Trump's warning loomed large. "He said that to me".
China is by far the world's biggest buyer of soybeans, which are mostly crushed and fed to pigs. That could specifically harm core Trump supporters.