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Friday 5 June 2020

Trade war: China, US to impose additional tariffs on imports

As the trade war continues, the US will collect 15% tariffs on Chinese imports and Beijing will impose 5% tariff on US crude oil from 1 Sept

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Washington: China and the United States will begin imposing additional tariffs on the goods of each other on Sunday, the latest escalation in a bruising trade war despite signs talks would resume sometime this month.

A new round of US tariffs on some Chinese goods and Chinese tariffs on US goods is scheduled to take effect from 0401 GMT on Sunday.

The Trump administration will begin collecting 15% tariffs on more than $125 billion in Chinese imports, including smart speakers, Bluetooth headphones and many types of footwear.

As part of its retaliation, Beijing will begin imposing a 5% tariff on US crude oil from 1 September, the first time US oil has been targeted since the world’s two largest economies started their trade war more than a year ago.

US President Donald Trump last month said he was increasing existing and planned tariffs by 5% on about $550 billion worth of Chinese imports after Beijing announced its own retaliatory tariffs on US goods.

Tariffs of 15% on cellphones, laptop computers, toys and clothing are to take effect on 15 December. The US Trade Representative’s Office said on Thursday it would collect public comments through 20 September on a planned tariff increase to 30% on a $250 billion list of goods already hit with a 25% tariff.

Trade teams from China and the United States continue to talk and will meet in September, but tariff increases on Chinese goods set to go in place on Sunday will not be delayed, Trump said on Friday.

For two years, the Trump administration has sought to pressure China to make sweeping changes to its policies on intellectual property protection, forced transfers of technology to Chinese firms, industrial subsidies and market access.

China has consistently denied Washington’s accusations that it engages in unfair trade practices, vowing to fight back in kind and criticising US measures as protectionist.

China has pressed the United States to cancel the tariff increase, but said last week that a September round of talks was being discussed between the two.

The trade war further strains Beijing-Washington ties, already overshadowed by US freedom of navigation exercises near Chinese-occupied islands in the disputed South China Sea, and US support for self-ruled and democratic Taiwan, which China claims as its own.

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