The dispute has roiled financial markets including stocks, currencies and the global trade of commodities from soybeans to coal in recent weeks.
German autos BMW (BMWG.DE), Daimler (DAIGn.DE), Porsche PSHG_P.DE and Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) were among the biggest STOXX risers, up as much as 4.7 percent following a report about a US offer to suspend threats to impose tariffs on cars imported from the European Union.
"Trade war concerns have shot up to the top of our concerns for investors", said Isabelle Mateos y Lago, chief multi-asset strategist at BlackRock Investment Institute in London.
Stocks in Asia were edgy in early Friday trade.
Tariffs at an average 1.5% in 2016 were the lowest since the United States gained independence in 1776.
Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, warned this week that further escalation of Trump's trade disputes would hurt the American economy most, with potential to lower United States economic growth by around 5%.
Soybean farmers, along with most of the US agriculture community, have been appealing to Trump to defuse the trade conflict with China, which imported 31 percent of USA soybeans a year ago, making it the world's top purchaser.
"Its unruliness looks set to have a profoundly damaging impact on the global economic landscape in the coming decades, unless countries stand together to oppose it".
It has increased sharply since 2001 when China joined the World Trade Organization and started to significantly improve its economic position and relations worldwide.
China has promised to immediately hit back with tariffs of "equal scale, equal intensity" on American soybeans, corn, wheat, rice, beef, and poultry.
US carmaker Ford Motor Co (F.N) said on Thursday it has no plans to hike retail prices of its imported Ford and Lincoln models in China, despite the steep additional tariffs on imported USA vehicles set to come into play on Friday.
Longer term though a trade war posed a risk to the recovery of the whole global economy, he said.
Speaking hours after the tit-for-tat duties went into effect, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said no one would emerge a victor from a trade war.
China's said it was "forced to make a necessary counterattack" to a United States tariff hike on Chinese goods but gave no immediate details of possible retaliation.
US President Donald Trump discussed the trade war on Thursday with journalists who flew with him to Montana for a campaign rally. He said American orders have fallen 30 to 50 per cent compared with a year ago.
China also has other ways to retaliate by going after U.S. companies such as Apple and Walmart, which operate in its market and are keen to expand.
Beijing has shown little interest in making fundamental changes to its economic model. Unfortunately, according to Chinese media, the ship failed to make it.
Bundles of steel pipe sit stacked at a stockyard on the outskirts of Shanghai, China.
India is a relatively modest player in the global trade sweepstakes with a $23 billion trade gap with US.
In Beijing, policy makers are digging in for what could be a protracted fight - one in which they say they won't be the aggressor. "The marked increase in new trade restrictive measures among G20 economies should be of real concern to the worldwide community", Mr. Azevedo said, adding that more restrictions had been put in place in the weeks after the period under review ended.
"The dynamic is different from anything we've seen", Boughton said. While Trump's duties do not apply to food products, Souhrada pointed that NAFEM member Henny Penny expects the tariffs to increase the price of their pressure cookers.