U.S.-China Trade War Escalates As New Tariffs Take Effect


Trump hikes tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese products

U.S. stock index futures sank on Friday morning as Washington sharply escalated its trade dispute with Beijing by raising tariffs from 10% to 25% on $200 billion worth of goods coming from China.

Close to 6,000 different items such as vehicle parts, circuit boards, machinery, and microprocessors are subject to the tariffs.

However, the tariffs will take two or three weeks to actually hit because they only apply to goods leaving China on Friday.

Those that are already on the seas will not be affected, and that gives the two sides ample time to come to an agreement. Negotiators led by China Vice-Premier Liu He and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer are set to resume talks today in Washington.

China has vowed to hit back against the tariff increases, a move that could widen the economic rift between the two countries and continue to roil global markets. “China is deeply regretful. We will have to take necessary counter-measures. We would like the US side to join China halfway and make a joint effort to solve the existing problems through co-operation and negotiation,” the Chinese Commerce Ministry said in a statement immediately the tariff hike went into force.

As of 6:01 a.m. ET, futures on the blue-chip Dow declined 40.5 points, or 0.16% to 25,775.5. Futures on the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 were unchanged at 7,582.50 while those on the S&P 500 were seen losing 8.13 points, or 0.28% to 2,864.62.

Uber prices its initial public offering at $45 a share

Uber Technologies Inc. priced its initial public offering at $45 a share on Thursday, near the bottom of the $44 to $50 per share price range it provided last month. California-based Uber raised about $8.1 billion in new capital by offering 180 million shares of its common stock.

The new price puts the ride-sharing company on a path to make its stock market debut at a valuation of $82.4 billion, well below the $120 billion valuation it had sought at the high end of its price range. However, it will be the biggest company to go public since Alibaba (NYSE: BABA) in 2014.

Uber was forced to lower its expectations due to a broader sell-off in the U.S. stock market and the dismal debut of rival Lyft Inc (NASDAQ: LYFT), which is down 32% since going public on March 29. Shares of Uber will begin trading under the ticker “UBER” on the New York Stock Exchange today.

Symantec chief executive Greg Clark resigns

Shares of Symantec Corp. (NASDAQ: SYMC) plummeted 16% to $18.61 in premarket trading Friday following the unexpected resignation of its president and CEO Greg Clark on Thursday.

Clark stepped down at a time when the antivirus software provider company is struggling to revamp its enterprise security business. Symantec appointed board member Richard Hill to serve as interim president and CEO.

Symantec also reported its Q4 earnings of $0.39 per share, down 11% from the same period last year. Sales came in at $1.19 billion, down 1.7% year on year and below Wall Street’s expectations of $1.21 billion.

CPI inflation data for April due today

The U.S. Department of Labor will release the consumer price index (CPI) inflation for April at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists are expecting core inflation figures to have risen 0.1% to 0.2% last month. Consumer price index could remain unchanged at 0.4% on a monthly basis.