US President Donald Trump's plan to use his usual harsh rhetoric, similar to the way he dealt with North Korea in the nuclear crisis past year, is unlikely to help him take a commanding position amid escalating trade tensions with China, experts told Sputnik.
In U.S. economic news, the government reported that American employers added 103,000 jobs in March, below the 185,000 jobs analysts had forecast.
Mnuchin tells CNBC, "We're absolutely willing to negotiate". The US and Chinese officials favour using "close communication" to avoid a full-blown trade war. But he adds, "On the other hand, the president is absolutely prepared to defend our interests".
The products on the latest USA list include heavy machinery, motorcycles and high-tech items, such as semiconductors and batteries.
The Chinese Government has threatened to target soybeans in the latest move in an escalating tit-for-tat trade war.
United States stock indexes also fell on trade war jitters, which weighed on oil prices.
Earlier this month, China announced tariffs on $3bn of U.S. goods such as pork and wine in retaliation for the steel and aluminium tariffs imposed last month by Trump.
And going after American companies, he said, would further anger the White House and "pretty soon we're approaching meltdown".
China's government has vowed to "counterattack with great strength" if Donald Trump goes ahead with plans to raise U.S. tariffs on an additional 100 billion dollars of Chinese goods. He says he hopes differences can be mended through negotiations. The announcement comes "in light of China's unfair retaliation" earlier this week.
Which means the USA and China's back-and-forth tariff battle might not be over anytime soon.
"If the USA side announces the list of products for 100 billion dollars in tariffs, the Chinese side has fully prepared and will without hesitation counterattack with great strength", spokesman Gao Feng said. He cited "China's unfair retaliation" in response to his list of proposed tariffs earlier this week covering US$50 billion in Chinese products.
The USTR's "Section 301" investigation authorizing the tariffs alleges China has systematically sought to misappropriate USA intellectual property through joint venture requirements that often can not be negotiated without technology transfers, something China denies.
Gao said, "under these circumstances, the two sides can not possibly conduct any negotiations about this issue". "Despite the Aluminum Tariffs, Aluminum prices are DOWN 4%".
Among the low points: The US national security strategy in December naming China, along with Russian Federation, as threatening American interests; the US increasing naval operations in the South China Sea; and legislation signed by Mr Trump last month calling for Cabinet-level official visits to Taiwan, which is regarded by Beijing as part of China.
Speaking at the White House, Trump makes a first statement on his plans to impose punishing tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.
In recent weeks, Washington and Beijing have been exchanging shots in an intensifying trade conflict.
But in the hours that followed, markets across Asia Pacific, including Hong Kong, held steady, the Communist Party-controlled press said little, and top officials were mum.
"We may take a hit and, you know what, ultimately we're going to be much stronger for it". "If the United States disregards the opposition of China and the global community, insisting on unilateralism and trade protectionism, the Chinese side will follow suit and fight at any cost".
The ministry said in a statement Friday that if Washington persisted in what Beijing describes as protectionism, China would "dedicate itself to the end and at any cost and will definitely fight back firmly".
Trump surprised many when he on Thursday evening ordered his chief trade negotiator to consider imposing tariffs on an additional $100 billion of Chinese products, in an apparent bid to provoke Beijing.
China's list names cars, aircraft, soybeans, corn, sorghum, whiskey, beef, tobacco, cotton and plastic products, according to a CNBC translation.