China weighs whether to retaliate over Trump's tariff hikes


BEIJING (AP) - Chinese leaders need to decide whether President Donald Trump's planned hike in steel and aluminum tariffs justifies starting a fight that might disrupt access to one of China's biggest markets.

Beijing has threatened retaliation if Trump raised trade barriers but had no immediate reaction Friday to his announcement. Asian stock markets fell amid talk of a "trade war."

Chinese leaders need to weigh the need to back up threats with action against the risk of disrupting U.S. market access for smartphones and other exports that matter more to their economy than metals.

Economist Louis Kuijs of Oxford Economics said, "China will definitely respond. It doesn't want to be seen as weak. But it will be relatively restrained."