Trump's tariffs on $200 bn of Chinese imports kick in

Posted September 25, 2018

The United States and China are set to impose new tit-for-tat tariffs against each other's goods on Monday, the latest escalation in a heated trade war between the world's two largest economies.

China accused the United States of engaging in "trade bullyism" and intimidating other countries to submit to its will through measures such as tariffs, the official Xinhua news agency said Monday, hours after the two sides imposed fresh duties.

China published a white paper on Monday that attacked the "protectionist practices" and "trade bullyism practices of the US administration", according to state-run Chinese news service Xinhua.

Hopes for talks to resolve the issue appeared to have been dealt a blow as The Wall Street Journal reported Beijing cancelled the visit of a negotiating team expected September 27-28 in Washington. The company said prices for items ranging from food to vehicle seats to luggage to gas grills and Christmas lights, could increase in price by anywhere between 10 percent to 25 percent. "For the U.S.to go to war with China over trade is for the U.S.to enter a war that it can not win".

China on Saturday called off planned trade talks with US officials with a move by the US State Department to sanction China's defence agency and its director on Thursday contributing to the decision, according to people familiar with the situation.

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Beijing fired back Monday, accusing the U.S. of making "false accusations" and using "increasing tariffs and other means of economic intimidation in an attempt to force its own interests on China by way of extreme pressure".

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo vowed that the United States would emerge victorious in an intensifying trade war with China, a day before Washington imposes $200 billion (R2 863 300 000 000,00) worth of tariffs.

This week the U.S. sanctioned a Chinese military procurement organisation, drawing a sharp protest from Beijing and a decision to postpone planned military talks. Beijing has imposed rates of 5-10 per cent and warned it would respond to any rise in U.S. tariffs on Chinese products accordingly.

"The trade war by China against the United States has been going on for years".

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo seemed confident on Sunday, however, that the USA would win any potential trade war with China. "We remain open to continuing discussions with China, but China must meaningfully engage on the unfair trading practices".

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"With generic polls favoring the Democrats, they may feel that the trade environment may be less hostile after November 6", said ING's chief Asia economist, Rob Carnell.

Trump earlier this month accused China of targeting rural voters who support his presidency by hitting agricultural goods.

The latest tariffs and the threat didn't deter Beijing from launching retaliatory tariffs on American goods worth $60 billion.

The new restrictive measures against China would also result in an inflation rise in the US, Goldman warns.

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Trump order additional tariffs on $ 200 billion of Chinese imports on Monday that will take effect on Sept 24. What is more, it is conceivable that China will also slap a punitive tariff on USA crude oil.