The Trump administration is considering raising tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports to 25% from 10%, and the potential blowback from that decision is hurting U.S. mining plays Thursday.
Chinese officials ramped up their own rhetoric in response to the latest trade tensions.
"U.S. pressure and blackmail won't have an effect," China's Foreign Ministry said. "If the United States takes further escalatory steps, China will inevitably take countermeasures and we will resolutely protect our legitimate rights. Unilateral threats and pressure will only produce the opposite of the desired result."
The threat of an all-out trade war with China sent mining plays tumbling premarket. Here is the rundown:
Rio Tinto plc (RIO) - down 4%
BHP Billiton Limited (BHP) - down 4%