US unveils next round of Chinese imports to face tariffs

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Washington, Aug 8 (IANS) The Trump administration has unveiled a new list of $16 billion worth of imports from China that will be hit with 25 per cent duties from August 23, marking the second time Washington has slapped extra tariffs on Beijing.

The move on Tuesday marked the latest escalation of a trade war between the world’s two largest economies. The tariffs targeted 279 Chinese products including motorcycles, speedometers and antennas, CNN reported.

The announcement came despite persistent warnings by American businesses that it will raise the price of goods for consumers.

President Donald Trump has accused China of unfair trade practices and has long vowed to bring down the US’ trade deficit in goods with Beijing.

This will add to the package that the US government announced in June, which came into force partially at the beginning of July, and will hit $50 billion in goods in total.

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In the first round of tariffs, the US targeted a total of 1,300 Chinese goods, from advanced manufacturing and aerospace to information technology and robotics. It imposed 25 per cent tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese imports, the Department of Commerce said.

Beijing, accusing the US of trade bullying, retaliated to the July move by imposing tariffs on an equal measure of American goods.

The US government justified the measure on the grounds of its investigation into Chinese business practices, in which the authorities said Beijing allegedly committed a series of irregularities.

Among those alleged irregularities were intellectual property violations against US companies, the acquisition of local companies with an aim of getting their technology and Chinese government cyberattacks against US government computer networks.

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With the new round of tariffs, the Trump administration went one step further in its trade war with the Asian giant. Over the weekend, Trump told a rally he holds the advantage over China, adding playing hardball on trade is “my thing”.

China has threatened Washington of similar measures on any additional tariffs. The Chinese government said it would impose duties as high as 25 per cent on American products like meat, coffee, nuts and auto parts.

The US and China trade goods and services worth about $650 billion each year, the largest trading relationship in the world between two countries.

–IANS

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