In a ramping up of tensions, US President Donald Trump has threatened that if China does not sign up to a free trade agreement by March 1, he will order more tariffs to apply to another $US200 billion ($280 billion) of Chinese imports, meaning almost all China imports will be taxed.

In this report by The Sydney Morning Herald, Stephen Kirchner, the program director of trade and investment at the United States Studies Centre says that the world economy has entered a “dangerous” new phase of growth.