CANBERRA, March 23 (Xinhua) -- Australia China Business Council (ACBC) issued a statement on Friday, expressing concerns over the latest imposition of tariff on Chinese products by the U.S. government.
"ACBC is deeply concerned by the second round of trade tariffs announced by the U.S. Administration against Chinese imports. The imposition of such trade tariffs will likely slow economic growth and lead to a global trade war impacting all trading nations," the statement said.
"There are no winners in a global trade war. In the face of U.S. protectionism and the threat of a global trade war, it is time for clear leadership to guard against economic downturns and to ensure trade remains free and open for the benefit of all, which is especially important for a trading nation like Australia."
ACBC highlighted its long history of supporting trade between Australia and China.
"For the past 44 years, ACBC has consistently supported bilateral trade and investment between Australia and China. ACBC has been a longstanding advocate for free trade and increased investment which have been the cornerstones of Australia's record breaking 26-year period of economic growth."
Meanwhile, the Australian stock market had experienced a steep fall at the news of U.S. tariffs.
The S&P/ASX 200 index dropped 116 points, or 2 percent, while the All Ordinaries fell 114 points, or 1.9 percent, to 5,929.
"The news around tariffs is not positive for share markets and the lack of specific detail around which goods are going to be included in the current proposal is not positive for market sentiment," said AMP Capital economist Diana Mousina.
Around one third of Australia's exports go to China and raw material exports account for most of that, she told the Australian Financial Review.
"These materials are then used in China to manufacture goods that may be subject to the proposed U.S. tariffs. So, a trade disagreement between the U.S. and China has the potential to negatively affect Australian commodity demand."