President Xi Jinping has much more flexibility than President Trump, and the Chinese government can force Chinese banks to back industries reeling from American tariffs, even if it is not economically viable.
In a Twitter post on Sunday, Trump echoed this, saying 'China will take down its trade barriers because it is the right thing to do.
The move was a response to years of alleged intellectual property theft by China. "Great future for both countries!" the president tweeted.
China has proposed tariffs of $50 billion on US products that will squeeze apple growers in Washington, soybean farmers in IN and winemakers in California.
The new White House economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, said the United States is "not in a trade war" and that "China is the problem".
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin acknowledged there was a risk of a trade war, but said the intention is to defend USA interests and the administration remains willing to negotiate.
China's commerce ministry responded to President Trump's most recent call for tariffs by saying that it would battle the U.S. "at any cost".
The United States and China over the past week have engaged in a tit-for-tat series of threats over trade tariffs.
On Tuesday, Washington unveiled some $50bn worth of proposed tariffs on Chinese imports and on Thursday Trump upped the ante, directing United States trade officials to identify tariffs on another $100bn of Chinese imports. It sent $375 billion in goods to the USA last year, while the United States sent only $130 billion worth of products to China.
"And those tariffs will be imposed, and then investment restrictions will be imposed", he said. China's retaliation so far has targeted Midwest farmers, many of whom were bedrock Trump supporters.
"Our farming community is on the front lines, but we've got to stick with it", the senator said.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on CBS's "Face the Nation" that the US objective "is to continue to have discussions with China".
Graham on "This Week" acknowledged that US farmers and some industries may be hurt by a trade conflict with the giant Asian country.
"We have bills to pay and debts we must settle, and can not afford to lose any market, much less one as important as China", Duvall said.
"I'm cautiously optimistic to work this out", Mnuchin said, adding that "I think that we can manage this without significant difficulty to the overall economy". He also said that though the U.S. hoped to avoid taking action, Trump "was not bluffing". We want them to stop stealing our stuff. Trade protectionism China's state media has rallied against the United States, saying its trade protectionism actions will end in defeat and that the only option now is to hit the United States hard enough so it will "remember the pain".
Asked on CBS's "Face the Nation" about Trump's Sunday tweets and whether China has given any sign of concessions, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said "it would be inappropriate for me to comment on what our back-channel discussions are".