The US has doubled tariffs tariffs on $200bn worth of Chinese products, escalating the ongoing trade war to a whole new level.
Tariffs on affected Chinese goods have risen to 25 per cent from 10 per cent, while Beijing has vowed to retaliate, China has said it “deeply regrets” the move but will “take necessary counter measures.”
Import taxes on products on products from 5,700 categories rose to 25 per cent at just after 5am UK time. Trumps move comes as a follow through on threats by the US president earlier this week and a day after talks between the two failed to produce the desired results.
Despite the latest escalation, China’s commerce ministry remains optimistic that a negotiated settlement could still be reached.
“The 11th round of trade consultations is underway,” it said. “It is hoped the US and Chinese sides will meet each other halfway.”
The higher US duties will only apply to Chinese goods shipped from today onwards, not on products already en route to US ports.
The US president first imposed a punitive tariff of 25 per cent on $50bn worth of Chinese industrial exports last July. That was followed in September by the imposition of a 10 per cent tariff on a much broader range of goods worth about $200bn annually.
Both sides have already imposed tariffs on billions of dollars worth of one another’s goods. The situation could worsen, as Trump has also warned he could “shortly” introduce 25 per cent duties on $325bn of Chinese goods, a move that would hit the toy industry directly.