>> Hot on the heels of returning from his summit in Singapore, US President Donald Trump set to decide on whether to heat things up on another Asian front, America's looming trade war with China. On Thursday, Trump will meet with top White House advisers to decide whether to activate tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods.
Friday is the day set months ago for the US to set its final list of targets. While China appears to be bracing itself for the impact of Trump's tariffs. Beijing officials said Thursday, they still see talks is the best way to solve the trade dispute. Reuters, Tony Monroe is in Beijing where he's been reporting on Chinese preparations for the potential hit.
>> If Washington goes through on implementing this first round of tariffs, China has made it pretty clear that they will respond in kind. They released a list in early April of $50 billion worth of goods that would be hit with retaliatory tariffs. These are on goods including soya beans and cars, and chemicals.
>> The US has alleged that Chinese companies have stolen American intellectual property. But a US official told Reuters, the new list will still be closed to that magic number of $50 billion. If Trump does decide to activate the tariffs, China may escalate its own response. However, for Chinese companies, US tariffs could be a hard pill to swallow.
>> For some, it will disrupt their supply chains. For some, it would make their actual finished goods more expensive for American consumers. So it really is potentially disruptive for any company that is in the firing line of these specific tariff targets.>> China's commerce ministry did not mention the potential activation of tariffs on Thursday.
But they did say that Chinese companies are quote, front-loading shipments this month. Or sending extra goods on top of normal monthly orders due to what they called, changes in the international trade environment.