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Trump slaps tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods

Trump slaps tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods

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US President Donald Trump has escalated his trade war with China by imposing 10 per cent tariffs on another US$200 billion worth of Chinese imports and threatening to target more if Beijing retaliates.

In announcing the new round of tariffs, Mr Trump warned that if China takes retaliatory action against US farmers or industries, "we will immediately pursue phase three, which is tariffs on approximately $267 billion of additional imports."

Collection of tariffs on the long-anticipated list will start September 24 but the rate will increase to 25 per cent by the end of 2018, allowing US companies some time to adjust their supply chains to alternate countries, a senior administration official said.

So far, the United States has imposed tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese products to pressure China to make sweeping changes to its trade, technology transfer and high-tech industrial subsidy policies. Beijing has retaliated.

The escalation of Trump's tariffs on China comes after talks between the world's two largest economies to resolve their trade differences produced no results. US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin last week invited top Chinese officials to a new round of talks, but thus far nothing has been scheduled, reports Reuters.

"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," Mr Trump said in his statement. "But, so far, China has been unwilling to change its practices."

Vice chairman of China's securities regulator, Fang Xinghai, told a forum in the Chinese port city of Tianjin that he hopes the two sides can sit down and talk, but added that the latest US move has "poisoned" the atmosphere for negotiations.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He is scheduled to convene a meeting in Beijing to discuss the government's response to the US decision, Bloomberg News reported, citing a person briefed on the matter.

China has vowed to retaliate further against any new US tariffs, with state-run media arguing for an aggressive "counterattack."