Trump sees trade deal with 'friend' Xi

Shipping containers at Pier J at the Port of Long Beach wait for processing in Long Beach California US

While Graham hopes Chinese President Xi Jinping will change his trade policy in response to US tariffs, he predicted that will happen only if "it hurts his economy to the point where he has to change his behavior".

Navarro has said that high-level talks will take place before any tariffs will take effect, led on the US side by Mnuchin and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. Taxes will end up reciprocal and a bargain will be reached on intellectual land. "Great future for both countries!" the president tweeted.

Trump escalated the dispute late Thursday by instructing the U.S. Trade Representative's office to consider tariffs on an additional $100 billion in Chinese imports, raising to $150 billion the amount of Chinese goods under consideration.

The U.S. list of affected Chinese products had included high-tech items in areas like aerospace and pharmaceuticals, while China had proposed new levies on U.S. products like soybeans and whiskey.

In a commentary on Sunday, Xinhua News Agency said the trade tensions were a "fight between unilateralism and multilateralism, and a fight between protectionism and free trade".

"But at the end of the day, the president promised if he got to be president he would push back against China", Graham added. Still, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said the threat of tariffs is not merely a negotiating tactic with China. The Trump administration has said it is taking action as a crackdown on China's theft of United States intellectual property.

The comments follow a week of rising tensions on trade, punctuated by the president's surprise order late on Thursday that the US identify additional Chinese goods to target and Beijing's immediate vow that it won't back down.

"There are no winners in trade wars", said Nathan Sheets, chief economist at PGIM Fixed Income. "It's a long process", Kudlow said. But he predicted that the USA may prevail because the Chinese need American goods more than the other way around. The US bought more than $500 billion in goods from China previous year; the US sold about $130 billion in goods to China in 2017 and faces a potentially devastating hit to its market there if China responds in kind.

The ministry said it had plans for a 25 percent tariff on USA pork imports and recycled aluminium, and a 15 percent tariff on United States steel pipes, fruit and wine.

Trump "has a very close relationship with President Xi, and we'll continue to discuss those issues with them", Mnuchin said.

"Americans can't own businesses in China, they have to set up a joint venture, which sometimes means you have to share intellectual property", Mr Moorhead said. China warned that it would "counterattack with great strength". "I think that's going to be a wake-up call for Americans", Navarro said on NBC's "Meet The Press".

"We're absolutely willing to negotiate", Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Friday on CNBC, adding, "I'm cautiously optimistic that we'll be able to work this out".

Graham on "This Week" acknowledged that USA farmers and some industries may be hurt by a trade conflict with the giant Asian country.

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