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US, China trade war gets bitter; Trump slaps 15% tariff on over $125 bn Chinese goods

A new round of tariffs took effect on Sunday, with Beijing's levy of 5 per cent on US crude marking the first time the fuel has been targeted since the world's two largest economies started their trade war more than a year ago

twitter-logo Reuters   Beijing     Last Updated: September 1, 2019  | 11:02 IST
US, China trade war gets bitter; Trump slaps 15% tariff on over $125 bn Chinese goods
In retaliation, China started to impose additional tariffs on some of the US goods on a $75-billion target list.

China and the United States began imposing additional tariffs on each other's goods on Sunday, the latest escalation in a bruising trade war, despite signs that talks would resume some time this month.

A new round of tariffs took effect from 0401 GMT, with Beijing's levy of 5per cent on US crude marking the first time the fuel has been targeted since the world's two largest economies started their trade war more than a year ago.

The Trump administration will begin collecting 15 percent tariffs on more than $125 billion in Chinese imports, including smart speakers, Bluetooth headphones and many types of footwear.

In retaliation, China started to impose additional tariffs on some of the US goods on a $75-billion target list. Beijing did not specify the value of the goods that face higher tariffs from Sunday.

The extra tariffs of 5% and 10% were levied on 1,717 items of a total of 5,078 products originating from the United States. Beijing will start collecting additional tariffs on the rest from December 15.

Chinese state media struck a defiant note.

"The United States should learn how to behave like a responsible global power and stop acting as a 'school bully',"

the official Xinhua news agency said.

"As the world's only superpower, it needs to shoulder its due responsibility, and join other countries in making this world a better and more prosperous place. Only then can America become great again."

Tariffs could not impede China's development, said the official People's Daily of the ruling Communist Party.

"China's booming economy has made China a fertile ground for investment that foreign companies cannot ignore," it said, in a commentary under the name 'Zhong Sheng', or 'Voice of China', which is often used to state its view on foreign policy issues.

Last month, US President Donald Trump said he was increasing existing and planned tariffs by 5% on about $550-billion worth of Chinese imports after Beijing announced its own retaliatory tariffs on US goods.

Tariffs of 15% on cellphones, laptop computers, toys and clothing are to take effect on December 15.

The U.S. Trade Representative's Office said on Thursday it would collect public comments through September 20 on a planned tariff increase to 30% on a $250-billion list of goods already hit with a 25% tariff.

Trade teams from China and the United States continue to talk and will meet in September, but tariff hikes on Chinese goods set to go in place on Sunday will not be delayed, Trump has said.

For two years, the Trump administration has sought to pressure China to make sweeping changes to its policies on intellectual property protection, forced transfers of technology to Chinese firms, industrial subsidies and market access.

China has consistently denied Washington's accusations that it engages in unfair trade practices, vowing to fight back in kind and criticizing U.S. measures as protectionist.

China has pressed the United States to cancel the tariff increase, but said last week that a September round of talks was being discussed between the two.

The trade war further strains Beijing-Washington ties, already overshadowed by U.S. freedom of navigation exercises near Chinese-occupied islands in the disputed South China Sea, and U.S. support for self-ruled and democratic Taiwan, which China claims as its own.

Also read: China's Yuan falls to 11-year low on trade war with US

Also read: US-China trade war uncertainty could cost global economy $585 billion by 2021

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