United States and European Union launch trade talks over Trump's steel and aluminium tariffs

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25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum - he exempted Mexico and Canada, at least temporarily, and said other nations could negotiate with the White House to get out of paying duties on tens of billions of dollars' worth of imports.

Meanwhile, China's Premier Li Keqiang said yesterday that there will be no victor from any trade war between China and the U.S., and that he hopes both sides can remain "calm".

China runs a US$375 billion trade surplus with the U.S. and when President Xi Jinping's top economic adviser visited Washington recently, the administration pressed him to come up with a way of reducing that number.

Mr Trump said the Chinese government had forced United States companies to transfer their intellectual property to China as a cost of doing business there.

"We hope that both parties can maintain reason, not act emotionally, and avoid a trade war".

Africa's leaders to launch world's largest free trade area at Rwanda meeting
Each of African countries has to do its part, she said. "That same goods will surely find its way to Nigeria which is the main target market for the EU", Jacob said.

The tariff package, which Trump plans to unveil by Friday, could be applied to more than 100 products that the president argues were developed using trade secrets that China stole from USA companies or forced them to hand over in exchange for access to its massive market. "But if anyone forces us to fight one, we will neither be scared nor hide", Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said. Li repeated a suggestion that the United States ease restrictions on exports of high-technology goods to China as a way to even the balance. "But we don't see any specific procedures for doing so", said Clement Leung, Hong Kong commissioner for economic and trade affairs. It would also give companies time to voice objections. China is the largest USA trading partner, importing more than $460 billion annually.

"Trade wars have a history of not ending well".

"With its economy so integrated into the global economy, closing its own door will only block China's way", he said.

There was no indication of the size and the scope of tariffs, which U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said on Wednesday would target China's high technology sector and which could also include restrictions on Chinese investments in the United States. The impact would hit the economy by $1.4 billion, or 8/1000th of 1 percent of USA gross domestic product, the organization said.

"While China will surely respond, we continue to expect its response to be relatively restrained and our baseline scenario implies modest economic damage", Kuijs, a former International Monetary Fund economist, wrote in a report Tuesday. "There is no argument that will justify these measures being taken", he said in an interview.

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