New round of US-China trade tariffs worth $200 billion takes effect | News | DW | 01.09.2019
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New round of US-China trade tariffs worth $200 billion takes effect

The introduction of an additional 15% tariff on thousands of goods has ratcheted up the Trump-Xi trade war. Although fresh trade talks will resume later this month, Washington and Beijing continue the tough rhetoric.

The United States and China levied additional tariffs on thousands of each other's goods on Sunday, with Beijing targeting US crude oil for the first time since the trade war began.

The new round of tariffs took effect from 0401 UTC, according to the US Trade Representative's office.

The US move imposes a 15% levy on more than $125 billion in Chinese imports including smart speakers, Bluetooth headphones, books, babies' nappies and many types of footwear.

Read more: US-China trade war — The unlikely European winners

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Big brand electronics targeted

The US says it will introduce a further round of tariffs on Chinese cellphones, laptop computers, toys and clothing from December 15. If those duties take effect, virtually all goods imported from China will be covered.

China, meanwhile, has put additional tariffs on some of the $75 billion in US goods it listed last month for retaliatory measures, including 5% on US crude oil.

From Sunday, 1,717 US exports will face the extra Chinese tariffs of 5% and 10%. A further 3,361 items will face similar measures from December 15.

Donald Trump and Xi Jinping (picture-alliance/AP Photo/S. Walsh)

The Chinese and US presidents have been locked in a bitter trade war for more than a year


Critics of Trump's aggressive trade stance say American consumers will bear the brunt of the additional tariffs by facing higher prices for goods during the holiday shopping season.

Read more: China's corporate social credit system spooks European companies

'Bad time' to ramp up trade feud

Business leaders have warned that Trump is playing a high-stakes game by pressuring Beijing to sign a new trade deal, just as the US economy slows.

The president launched his trade war in March 2018, demanding that China end practices widely seen as unfair, such as forced technology transfers from US firms and the massive subsidies given to Chinese enterprises.

Read more: Can Trump prevent a US recession in election year?

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Markets rally on trade talk hopes

Some analysts say the strategy has produced few positive results and that Beijing has shown little sign of giving in.

The US economy is widely expected to slow further in the months ahead. As consumer spending is the major driver of the US economy — responsible for 75% of gross domestic product (GDP) growth — analysts predict the new tariffs will contribute to the slowdown.

US and Chinese officials are due to continue trade talks later this month, despite angry rhetoric by both sides. Trump has even called China an "enemy" and threatened to force US companies to pull out of the Asian powerhouse.

mm/ng (AFP, AP, Reuters)

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