One, if Chinese steel cannot find its way into the U.S., it could be dumped on other markets, triggering protective tariffs.
Just hours after the United States introduced 25 percent trade tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods, Beijing has retaliated with mirror measures against American imports.
"Around 59 percent of products worth 34 billion USA dollars subject to additional tariffs are made by foreign firms in China, with American firms making up a considerable part", Gao said. If the US and China cool off after a first round of tariffs, the fallout will be modest, according to Bloomberg Economics.
Still, Heitkamp said "no one should be surprised by this" because "this is what (President Donald Trump) said he was going to do".
Forecasters say global economic growth could be reduced by up to 0.5 percentage points in 2019-20 if both sides wind up raising tariffs on $250 billion of imports.
"A trade war benefits no one, because it hurts free trade and the multilateral process", Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang (李克強) told a summit with 16 EU and Balkan countries in Sofia.
Thus, the core of the global trading system progressively built up over the past 70 years and the global supply chains and financial system developed over recent decades to facilitate global trade and investment are under threat, along with the still-fragile recovery in the global economy from the financial crisis.
"There should be no doubting Beijing's resolve", the newspaper said. "China trade war, and let's hope it's not Fort Sumter", the piece began.
"However, we can't rule out a full-blown, recession-inducing "trade war"," it said.
The row has caused turbulence on the world's stock markets and could hurt global trade and growth. Trump relies heavily on Chinese cooperation to rein in the nuclear ambitions of North Korea's Kim Jong Un - especially in terms of maintaining sanctions. Asian equities wobbled but also managed to end up.
"The United States has waged the biggest trade war in economic history against the rules of the World Trade Organization", China's Commerce Ministry said in a statement, describing the USA tariffs as "textbook trade hegemony".
American companies doing business in China are particularly anxious. In February 2018, USTR won a WTO compliance challenge against China's unfair anti-dumping and countervailing duties on United States poultry exports and China announced the termination of those duties.
That could include "a wide range of products as diverse as tool sets, batteries, remote controls, flash drives and thermostats", he said, adding, "a strategy based on unilateral tariffs is the wrong approach, and it has to stop".
Some other media were more circumspect, with the English-language China Daily yesterday calling on China to be confident but not arrogant.
Trump has for years slammed what he describes as Beijing's underhanded economic treatment of the United States in terms of trade, with the USA trade deficit in goods with China ballooning to a record $375.2 billion last year.
Trump discussed the trade war Thursday with journalists who flew with him to Montana for a campaign rally.
He described the potential escalation to reporters aboard Air Force One: "Thirty-four, and then you have another 16 in two weeks and then, as you know, we have 200 billion in abeyance and then after the 200 billion we have 300 billion in abeyance. OK?"
"We must promote trade and investment, liberalization and facilitation through opening up - and say no to protectionism", Xi said.
But the conflict could soon escalate.
Judging by the retaliatory tariffs targeted at the range of United States agricultural goods so far, China also seemed to be avoiding an escalation in trade tensions, analysts said.
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