President Donald Trump’s threat to levy a fresh set of tariffs on Chinese goods -- to the tune of $100 billion worth -- had an expected adverse effect on the stock market Friday.
"In light of China's unfair retaliation, I have instructed the [United States Trade Representative] to consider whether $100 billion of additional tariffs would be appropriate," the president said in a statement.
U.S. stocks had finished higher on Thursday before the latest statement amid attempts by the Trump administration to talk down recent trade tensions. Still, concerns remained that the latest trade-related development could signal more uncertainty ahead.
"Markets rallied on the idea the tariffs were just to start a negotiation. Trump's $100 billion comment implies this is going to get a lot more serious and basically quasi-shatters the idea that the tariffs were just a negotiation starting point," Tom Essaye, founder of The Sevens Report, said.
The president’s latest move comes on the heels of China’s retaliatory tariffs on $50 billion of U.S. goods after Trump issued a similar action earlier in the week.