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Walmart in Beijing. Photo: Zhang Peng/LightRocket via Getty Images

In terms of dollar value, the U.S. imports nearly four times as many goods from China as China does from the U.S., but Beijing has an arsenal of trade war weapons beyond tariffs that it could implement if the fight escalates, reports Bloomberg.

Why it matters: President Trump's latest threat of an additional $200 billion in tariffs could prompt China to unleash its non-tariff weapons.

What to watch:

  • The Chinese government could interfere with American companies' plans for expansion in China. Walmart and General Motors are both vying for the Chinese market, and Tesla has just announced plans for a massive factory there.
  • Beijing could increase regulatory oversight of American companies operating in China.
  • Chinese consumers could be directed to boycott certain U.S. products in retaliation.
  • American companies could also see canceled orders of goods, holdups at Chinese customs at ports or slowed-down approvals processes for building factories.
  • China has done this before. "Japanese automakers took a major hit in their China sales in 2012 after the fight over disputed islands in the East China Sea worsened ... China put a huge a dent in tourism in South Korea by banning package tours in 2017 amid a dispute over a missile shield," Bloomberg's Enda Curran writes.
  • The nuclear option, per Curran, would be for China to "offload some of its huge hoard of U.S. Treasuries."

The bottom line: China's sharpest weapon against the U.S. is its market leverage over American companies. Limiting access to Chinese consumers through non-trade barriers could hurt American firms' profits.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

2 hours ago - World

Iran rejects nuclear talks with U.S., for now

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif at Iran/EU talks in 2015. Photo: Carlos Barria/POOL/AFP via Getty

A spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry said on Sunday that conditions are not ripe for informal nuclear talks between Iran, the U.S. and other world powers.

Why it matters: The Biden administration had proposed the talks as part of its efforts to negotiate a path back to the 2015 nuclear deal. The White House expressed disappointment with Iran's response, but said it remained willing to engage with Tehran.

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U.S. sets weekend records for daily COVID vaccinations

A driver waits to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in Inglewood, California on Feb. 26. Photo: Eric Thayer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Just over 2.4 million coronavirus vaccinations were reported to the CDC on Sunday, matching Saturday's record-high for inoculations as seen in Bloomberg's vaccine tracker.

Why it matters: Vaccinations are ramping up again after widespread delays caused by historic winter storms. Over 75 million vaccine doses have been administered thus far, with 7.5% of the population fully vaccinated and 15% having received at least one dose.

GOP Sen. Bill Cassidy: "We will lose" if we continue to idolize Trump

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) told CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday he does not believe that former President Trump will, or should, be the Republican nominee for president in 2024.

What he's saying: Cassidy pointed out that "over the last four years, [Republicans] lost the House of Representatives, the Senate and the presidency. That has not happened ... since Herbert Hoover."