Thursday, 6 Aug 2020

Latest tariffs in US-China trade war come into effect

WASHINGTON/BEIJING (DPA, REUTERS) – The Trump administration’s latest tariffs in the tit-for-tat US-China trade war came into effect on Sunday (Sept 1), for the first time targeting Chinese consumer goods, including televisions, books, nappies, and sports shoes.

The previously announced additional 15 per cent tariffs on US$112 billion (S$155 billion) worth of goods imported from China are, according to experts, likely to raise prices for US consumers in the medium term.

At the same time, Chinese tariffs targeting around US$75 billion of US goods also came into force.

Beijing started levying a 5 per cent tariff on US crude oil from Sunday, the first time US oil has been targeted since the world’s two largest economies started their trade war more than a year ago.

A further tranche of 15 per cent US tariffs on US$160 billion of Chinese goods is set to come into effect on Dec 15, hitting further consumer goods such as smartphones, laptops, and clothing.

The tranche, which had originally been set to also take effect on Sunday, was delayed by President Donald Trump in order to avoid hitting Christmas sales.

From December, however, nearly all Chinese imports to the United States – totalling around US$540 billion – will be subject to tariffs.

Washington has already slapped tariffs on US$250 billion of Chinese goods, to which China has retaliated with duties on US$110 billion worth of US imports.

Mr Trump accuses China of unfair trade practices, including blocking market access, and intellectual property theft.

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