China Reacts to Trade Tariffs and Hong Kong Protests by Blaming U.S.

Source: The New York Times
Date: 1st August 2019

The president said that China also did not fulfill its commitment to stop the sale of fentanyl into the United States.

As he departed the White House for a rally in Ohio, Mr. Trump accused Mr. Xi of trying to slow-walk negotiations ahead of the 2020 election in the hopes that a Democrat would win the White House.

“I think he wants to make a deal, but frankly he’s not going fast enough,” Mr. Trump said. “He said he was going to be buying from our farmers, he didn’t do that. He said he was going to stop fentanyl from coming into our country, he didn’t do that.”

He added that the tariffs could be raised to 25 percent or higher if the talks continue to falter, but allowed that they could also be removed.

The stock market reacted negatively to Mr. Trump’s comments. The S&P 500 had been up 1 percent shortly before 1 p.m., with strong gains seen among technology companies such as semiconductor makers. But the market tumbled sharply after the threat to impose the new tariffs appeared on Twitter. The drop erased all the day’s gains and more, sending the benchmark stock index into the red. Shortly before 2 p.m., the S&P 500 was down about 1.1 percent. It closed down 0.9 percent, led by drops in the energy and financial sectors, both of which fell more than 2 percent.

Oil prices, which are sensitive to global growth concerns, also fell sharply.

The slump continued in Asia on Friday morning, with markets in Japan and Hong Kong down more than 2 percent. Futures markets were predicting that Wall Street would open lower on Friday, too.

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