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This averted a Transatlantic tariff fight and soothed market concerns over what could have descended into a global "trade war".

Complicating Mnuchin's efforts is a harder line taken by Lighthizer, who has jurisdiction over the U.S.'s 301 investigation that sparked the tariffs.

China's top envoy called on the United States to remain "cool-headed" Thursday as Washington threatened to raise the tariff rate on the next $200 billion of Chinese imports.

A final decision has not been made, and a number of Trump's threats toward China have been designed more to bring Chinese President Xi Jinping to the negotiating table than to fundamentally change USA economic policy, said the person, who insisted on anonymity to discuss White House deliberations. Europe, Canada and Mexico are part of the tariff wars, too.

The threat of USA auto tariffs was placed on hold July 26 after Trump and Juncker agreed to refrain from "unilateral actions" while European Union and the United States endeavor to negotiate a trade pact. The goods in the amount of $200 bln represent nearly the half of US imports from China and about 10% of total USA imports per year. He vowed to pull out of NAFTA if he couldn't a deal he liked.

China's imports from the United States past year totalled $153.9 billion.

Momentum suddenly resumed after Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador won the Mexican presidential election last month and expressed support for overhauling NAFTA. We and the United States rate market expect the Fed to slow the pace of rate hikes in 2019 as the USA economy is likely to slow as the boost from late cycle fiscal stimulus fades.

Other US goods targeted by China also included semiconductors, some helicopters, small-to-mid-sized aircraft, condoms, beef, steel products and coffee.

The proposed increase drew criticism from industry groups like the National Retail Federation, which said the move would ultimately hurt U.S. consumers. Container imports at the Port of Oakland reached all-time highs in June.

This article was written by Damian Paletta, a reporter for The Washington Post.

The tariff increase would represent another major escalation of the trade war between the USA and China, which has seen roughly $74 billion worth of trade between the two countries get hit with tariffs.

A U.S. Treasury spokesman didn't respond to a request for comment.

The retaliation is beginning to take a toll.

Word late on Tuesday that the Trump administration was poised to escalate a trade war with China has been confirmed by the White House, with a spokeswoman saying that the president is "going to hold their feet to the fire". "So is the United States trying to put tariffs on its own companies?"

"China is forced to take countermeasures", said a ministry statement.

The move would be a major escalation of the next planned round of tariffs.

As tensions with USA allies seem to ease, tensions with China are rising.

Washington is preparing to also impose tariffs on an extra $16 billion of goods in coming weeks, and Trump has warned he may ultimately put them on over half a trillion dollars of goods - roughly the total amount of USA imports from China a year ago. There have been no formal talks between Washington and Beijing over Trump's demands for weeks.