Donald Trump said he was ordering US companies to start looking for “alternatives” to China, after Beijing retaliated against a new round of tariffs imposed by Washington as trade tensions escalated dramatically between the two countries.

“We don’t need China and, frankly, would be far better off without them. The vast amounts of money made and stolen by China from the United States, year after year, for decades, will and must STOP,” Mr Trump said.

“Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing your companies HOME and making your products in the USA”, he added.

Mr Trump also said he will issue a response to China’s retaliation, which involved new tariffs on $75bn of US products, later on Friday.

The US president’s attack on Beijing — and corporate America — came just a few minutes after he lashed out at the Federal Reserve and its chairman Jay Powell for failing to cut interest rates as deeply as he wants. “My only question is, who is our bigger enemy, Jay Powell or Chairman Xi?,” he wrote.

US Treasuries surged after the tweets. The yield on the shorter-dated two-year Treasury bill plummeted 9 basis points to 1.52 per cent, while the yield on the benchmark 10-year note fell 7.6 basis points to 1.53 per cent.

The rush to safety came at the expense of US stocks, with the S&P 500 falling 1.21 per cent.



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