China has appealed to Washington to stay level-headed and "correct its attitude" following a USA threat to raise tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods in a dispute over technology policy.
The GSO has however warned exporters and importers to be prepared for any eventuality given the ongoing trade war between the USA and China.
The US imposed 25 per cent tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese products in early July, and the review period on another $16 billion of imports ended July 31.
"China's economy is much less dependent on trade now and on trade with the USA than it used to be", says Linda Lim, a professor of corporate strategy and global business at the University of MI, told Zarroli.
The trading relationship between the USA and China has moved from near zero to a deficit of $US375 billion over the past 20 years.
Washington touted its initial tariffs as being carefully constructed to avoid having a big impact on US consumers and companies, but the expansion of the tariff lists has drawn in more goods that can not be imported from outside China.
So what does the Chinese side think of the U.S.'s proposed escalation?
Representatives of U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He have been speaking privately as they seek to restart negotiations, Bloomberg reported, citing sources.
The highest penalties on the new list would be imposed on honey, vegetables, mushrooms and chemicals, targeting farming and mining areas that supported President Donald Trump in the 2016 election.
The U.S. economy is heavily reliant on importing more than $500 billion in goods each year from China.
Beijing's earlier round of tariffs appeared created to minimize the impact on the Chinese economy by targeting soybeans, whiskey and other goods available from Brazil, Australia and other suppliers.
Trump has accused China of stealing US intellectual property, manipulating its own currency and taking other steps that give its firms an unfair competitive advantage over USA companies. That prompted concern among American companies that retaliation might expand to disrupting their operations in China. -China trade at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, said the tensions have reached a "critical moment". "So, this unifies NAFTA and US-Europe, Australia, Japan - China is increasingly isolated with a weak economy".
A foreign ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang, on Thursday warned the Trump administration "not to try to blackmail China, because it will never work".
While talks earlier this week between Beijing and Washington were not fruitful, a decision by the Trump administration to impose tougher tariffs could soften China's stance or escalate the trade war between the world's two biggest economies.
Aerial view of containers at a loading terminal in the port of Hamburg, Germany August 1, 2018.
Oxford Economics and the US-China Business Council suggest that if the data were adjusted for intermediate goods, the deficit would be cut in half.
With such figures, it's only logical that Trump's new tariffs will have drastic repercussions on GCC markets. So far this year, the trade gap is up more than 7 per cent from January-June 2017.