Home General US imposes biggest round of tariffs against China – KBC

US imposes biggest round of tariffs against China – KBC

by kenya-tribune

A new round of US tariffs on Chinese goods has kicked in, the largest yet in the escalating trade war between the economic superpowers.

The US started imposing tariffs on $200bn ($152bn) worth of Chinese products from 12:01 Beijing time (04:01 GMT), in response to what it says are unfair trading practices by China.

China has retaliated with tariffs on $60bn of US goods. It says the US has started the “largest trade war in economic history”.

The latest move takes the total amount of Chinese imports hit by US tariffs since July up to $250bn. This means about half of all Chinese imports to the US are now subject to these new duties.

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The latest escalation comes as China cancelled further trade talks with the US, according to media reports.

The latest US duties apply to almost 6,000 items, making them the biggest round of trade tariffs yet from Washington.

They affect handbags, rice and textiles, although some items such as smart watches and high chairs have been exempted.

US companies importing the Chinese products in question will have to pay an additional 10% levy.

The tax will rise to 25% from the start of 2019, unless the two countries agree a deal.

In total, the US has imposed three rounds of tariffs on Chinese products this year, totalling $250bn worth of goods.

It placed 25% tariffs on $50bn worth of imports from China in two separate rounds.

In July, the White House increased charges on $34bn worth of Chinese products.

Then last month, the escalating trade war moved up a gear when the US brought in a 25% tax on a second wave of goods worth $16bn.

Beijing retaliated in kind.

In response to the first two rounds of US tariffs, China imposed duties on $50bn of US products, targeting key parts of the president’s political base, such as farmers.

President Donald Trump says he wants to stop the “unfair transfers of American technology and intellectual property to China” and protect jobs.

Tariffs, in theory, will make US-made products cheaper than imported ones, thereby encouraging consumers to buy American. The idea is that this will boost local businesses and support the national economy.

But many US companies and industry groups have testified to the US Trade Representative’s Office that their businesses are being harmed.

There are signs that companies are already being affected, and the IMF has warned major escalations will hit global growth.

Mr Trump’s tariff policies are part of his protectionist trade agenda since taking office, which challenges decades of a global free trade system.

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