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Trump Threatens $500 Billion in New China Tariffs, World Stock Markets Fall Sharply


World stock markets fell dramatically early Friday following President Donald Trump's remarks about being prepared to slap new tariffs on Chinese imports.

The commander in chief threatend to "go to $500 billion" in duties on all Chinese exports, sending the yuan tumbling 0.4 percent against the dollar.

France's CAC 40 dropped 0.7 percent, Germany's DAX fell 0.5 percent, and Britian's FTSE 100 fell 0.3 percent as both S&P 500 and Dow futures were down between 0.4 and .02 percent.

"One theory is that the PBOC (People's Bank of China) is depreciating the yuan because it has not enough ammunition to fight a dollar-for-dollar increase in tariffs," Francis Tan, an economist at UOB Bank, explained. "The markets are very risk-off; there is a loss of confidence right now."

Meanwhile, the president continues to fight for a level playing field with America's trading partners – but not everyone agrees with his aggressive approach to free and fair trade.

US automakers, dealers and suppliers remained united in opposition to the president's tariffs for fear it would drive prices up.

"A 25 percent tariff on imported autos and auto parts would only lead to fewer sales, which leads to fewer American jobs," warned Jennifer Adair, a quality team leader at Toyota Motor Manufacturing in Indiana. "We cannot let that happen."

"At the end of the day, tariffs are taxes, and what the administration is trying to do today is to impose new taxes on the American people," said Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL).



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