New tariffs as trade war escalates

19 Sep 18

The US and China have imposed new tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of goods, marking the biggest round of US tariffs so far in the escalating trade war.

The US is imposing new tariffs on $200bn worth of Chinese goods, while China has hit back with tariffs on $60bn worth of American goods.  

The US taxes will take effect from 24 September, starting at 10% and increasing to 25% from January unless the two countries agree on a deal.

These will apply to almost 6,000 items, including handbags, rice and textiles.

Prior to its announcement of the new tariffs, which will target American goods such as liquefied natural gas, the Chinese ministry of commerce said it had no choice but to retaliate.

President Donald Trump said the latest round of tariffs was in response to China’s “unfair trade practices”, including subsidies and rules that “require foreign companies in some sectors to bring on local partners”.

He added: “We have been very clear about the type of changes that need to be made, and we have given China every opportunity to treat us more fairly. But, so far, China has been unwilling to change its practices.”

Trump also warned that if the Asian country retaliated, the US would “immediately pursue phase three” and impose further tariffs.

Last month, the US and China implemented new 25% tariffs on billions of dollars worth of imports on both sides.  

China has said it plans to file a fresh complaint against the US tariffs at the World Trade Organization. It first filed a complaint in July after Trump imposed his first round of tariffs.

Since July, the US has also imposed taxes on Mexico, Canada and the EU, all of which have retaliated.

The International Monetary Fund said in July that the rising trade tensions between the US and the rest of the world could wipe nearly $500bn off global growth by 2020.

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