We may delve into this with more detail in the coming weeks as the situation develops but for now its fairly easy to summarize just how disadvantaged the U.S.is when it comes to playing a game of trade war with our largest trading partner.
Thanks in large part to these duties and Chinese PV makers' subsequent building of factories in Southeast Asia, Chinese cells and modules represented only 11% of US solar imports in the first 11 months of 2017. Other stock averages also sank.
The Chinese tariffs announcement caused the USA dollar to lose ground to the Japanese yen, the Euro, and the British pound sterling.
After China warned it would retaliate, Trump threatened tariffs on a further $100 billion of Chinese products.
This morning the U.S. Trade Representative included a list of another 1,102 products, which includes solar cell and module imports under 8541.40.60.
The latest list specifically targets products that benefit from China's industrial subsidies, including the "Made in China 2025" technology plan.
These tariffs will impose higher costs on US companies that use the equipment.
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The risks come at a time when the Federal Reserve has pushed interest rates into positive territory adjusted for inflation for the first time in over a decade, a move that will raise borrowing costs for consumers. The impact won't be as visible as it would be if consumer products were taxed directly.
After a meeting in Washington, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin declared the trade war "on hold" and the tariffs suspended. Other tariffs will be announced at a later date. Lighthizer added: "Our hope is that it doesn't lead to a rash reaction from China".
"These measures, though, are likely to move the globe further away from an open, fair and rules-based trade system, with adverse effects for both the U.S. economy and for trading partners", the International Monetary Fund said.
"We will immediately launch tariff measures that will match the scale and intensity of those launched by the United States", the ministry promised, adding that "all economic and trade agreements reached by previous negotiations will be nullified at the same time".
On Thursday, International Monetary Fund (IMF) director Christine Lagarde warned that the Trump administration's trade policies were likely to hurt the U.S. economy and undermine the world's trade system.
China is adept at playing countries and companies off against one another, Jennifer Hillman, a Georgetown University law professor, testified last week before the U.S. But he signaled that whatever the implications, "I have to do what I have to do" to address the trade imbalance. Past U.S. administrations have urged Beijing to loosen control of industries as steelmaking, with little effect.
Press officials at the U.S. Commerce Department and U.S. Trade Representative's office declined to comment on the tariff list plans. The result: China has flooded world markets in steel, aluminum, solar panels and products, thereby undercutting prices and putting foreign rivals out of business.
Wall Street has viewed the escalating trade tensions with wariness, fearful that they could strangle the economic growth achieved during Trump's watch and undermine the benefits of the tax cuts he signed into law past year.
But Mr Trump's China trade offensive is only one side of his multi-front trade confrontation with all major U.S. economic partners.