US imposes new tariffs on $200bn of Chinese goods

The US is imposing new tariffs on $200bn (£150bn) of Chinese goods as it escalates its trade war with Beijing.

These will apply to almost 6,000 items, marking the biggest round of US tariffs so far.

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 Chinese commerce ministry said it had no choice but to retaliate but is yet to detail what action it will take.

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

US President Donald Trump said the latest round of tariffs was in response to China’s “unfair trade practices”.

“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,” he said.

Mr Trump also warned that if China retaliated then the US would “immediately pursue phase three” and impose further tariffs on another $267bn worth of Chinese products.

Such a move would mean almost all of China’s exports to the US would be subject to new duties.

After opening lower, the Shanghai stock market ended the day 1.8% higher, while Tokyo was up 1.4% and Hong Kong gained 0.6%.

Yes. In fact, this latest round marks the third set of tariffs put into motion so far this year.

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.

This latest round means that about half of all Chinese imports to the US are now subject to the new duties.

It is also the biggest set of tariffs to date, and unlike the earlier rounds this latest list targets consumer goods, such as luggage and furniture.

That means households may start to feel the impact from higher prices.

US companies have already said they are worried about the effect of higher costs on their businesses and warned of the risk of job cuts.-BBC

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