DONALD Trump wiped nearly $1.5 TRILLION off global markets with a single Twitter blast vowing to double tariffs on Chinese goods after they “broke” a crucial trade deal.
The US president renewed hostilities between the two economic giants by threatening to once more ramp up the cost of Beijing trading in the US.
He pledged to hike tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods from Friday – rocking equity markets across the world.
US negotiators also want China to clamp down on the alleged theft of US technology.
“For 10 months, China has been paying tariffs to the USA of 25% on 50 billion dollars of high tech, and 10% on 200 billion dollars of other goods,” Mr Trump said in his tweet.
“These payments are partially responsible for our great economic results. The 10% will go up to 25% on Friday. 325 billions dollars of additional goods sent to us by China remain untaxed, but will be shortly, at a rate of 25%.
“The tariffs paid to the USA have had little impact on product cost, mostly borne by China. The trade deal with China continues, but too slowly, as they attempt to renegotiate. No!”
Analysts have now pointed out that the President’s message cost the markets a staggering $13bn for each of the 102 words in the tweet.
Global stocks have tumbled to a six-week low.
The S&P 500 slumped as much as 1.3pc in early trade in New York while the Euro Stoxx 50, the eurozone’s blue-chip index, plunged 1.7pc.
The FTSE 100 survived the worst of the sell-off, dropping 0.8pc.
More than $1.4 trillion has already been erased from global stocks so far this week, reports news.com.
It also ramped up volatility once again, with the Cboe Volatility Index rising 50 per cent in two days to breach 20 for the first time since January, reports Bloomberg.
However, speaking at a rally in Florida last night, Trump insisted the new tariffs were because China “broke the deal.”
“You see the tariffs we’re doing?” the president said to his supporters. “Because they broke the deal!”
“The vice premier is flying in tomorrow, good man, but they broke the deal. They can’t do that,” he added.
The Chinese government has threatened to retaliate if he follows through on his plan to ratchet up tariffs on Friday – just as the two countries try to finalise a trade deal.
China’s chief trade negotiator, Vice Premier Liu He, is due in Washington for crucial talks with Robert Lighthizer, Trump’s top trade envoy and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
“The escalation of trade friction is not in the interests of the people of the two countries and the people of the world,” the Chinese Commerce Ministry said on Wednesday.
Trump’s original tweet – and the turmoil since – has clearly spooked investors, sparking massive losses on stock markets around the world.
Marketwatch.com reports: “Anxiety over the prospect of a deepening trade dispute between the US and China has weighed on markets all week after President Donald Trump voiced frustration over the pace of talks in a Sunday tweet.
“Those fears were compounded Wednesday evening when the president accused the Chinese of negotiating in bad faith, and reneging on commitments made in previous rounds of negotiation.”
US officials now reportedly insist the President’s hand was forced after the Chinese sought to renegotiate significant aspects of a prospective deal that the Americans felt were already sorted.
According to Reuters, a cable sent from Beijing to Washington included systematic edits “riddled with reversals by China that undermined core US demands.”
These reportedly included backtracking on commitments to change laws over intellectual property and trade secrets, competition policy, and currency manipulation.