US President Donald Trump is escalating the American trade war with China by announcing import tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. China has promised to retaliate.
The move, which sees $200 billion worth of Chinese imports slapped with a ten percent levy, comes amid a deepening trade spat between the world’s two largest economies.
The tariffs will be applied to more than 6,000 Chinese products, including consumer goods like electronics, bicycles, tyres, and furniture – all of which are manufactured in Chinese factories for export. The ten percent tariff will take effect on September 24, and rise to 25 percent on January 1, 2019.
Handbags, rice and textiles will be included, but some items expected to be targeted such as smart watches and high chairs have been excluded.
The additional tariffs are on top of penalties enacted earlier this year on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods. Taken together, it means roughly half of the products that China sells to the United States each year will be hit by American tariffs.
Trump also threatened to inflict more economic pain in the form of additional tariffs if Beijing takes any retaliatory action.
Earlier on Monday, Trump announced: “It will be a lot of money coming into the coffers of the United States of America. A lot of money coming in,” he said.
In remarks from from the White House, he said he was confident an agreement could eventually be reached with China, but stressed such an accord must do right by American workers.
“They want to make a deal,” Trump said. “But from our standpoint, it has to be fair. It has to take care of our workers.”
The tariffs are meant to punish China for alleged unfair trade practices, including intellectual property theft. China has accused the United States of trade bullying and, to this point, has responded dollar-for-dollar with tariffs of its own.
If he does go ahead with a further $267bn worth of tariffs, it would mean virtually all of China’s US exports would be subject to new duties.
The Chinese have previously hit back with tariffs on $50bn worth of US products in retaliation, targeting their response against key parts of the president’s political base, such as farmers.
The government has outlined a plan to impose further tariffs on roughly $60bn worth of US goods, and threatened other measures.
Chinese stock markets opened lower on Tuesday.
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