Trade war: Trump raises tariffs on $200bn of Chinese goods

Donald Trump has raised import duties on US$250 billion of Chinese goods

Effective at 12:01 ET this morning, President Donald Trump raised tariffs from 10% to 25% on $200 billion in Chinese imports - a move that surprised many who had assumed a new trade agreement was close at hand.

Minutes after the United States increased punitive duties on $200 billion in imports from China from 10 to 25 percent, the Chinese commerce ministry said it "deeply regrets" the move and repeated its pledge to take "necessary countermeasures", without elaborating.

The United States is set to go ahead with plans to hike tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of goods imported from China, even as the White House said that resumed 11th-hour negotiations between the two sides will continue for a second day.

"We hope the United States will meet us halfway, and work with us to resolve existing issues through cooperation and consultation", the statement from China's Ministry of Commerce said. But regulators are running out of USA goods for penalties due to the lopsided trade balance.

President Trump had strong words for China on the matter earlier this week, but on Friday said the talks are "congenial".

Trump is a firm believer in tariffs, even though most economists say the import duties are primarily paid not by China but by US businesses and consumers.

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Ahead of the latest round of meetings, Liu told Chinese state media he was coming to Washington under pressure but "with sincerity" and warned that a move to raise tariffs by the US starting Friday was not a solution.

If the two sides fail to reach an agreement, Trump will come closer to decoupling the USA and Chinese economies - which he claims will bring blue-collar manufacturing jobs back to the United States.

Liu, speaking to Chinese state TV on his arrival in Washington, said he "came with sincerity".

A more patient Federal Reserve, which said it may not raise interest rates at all this year, also helped to clear worries about a possible recession, and the S&P 500 vaulted 17.5% higher in the first four months of the year. One person familiar with the discussions said that USA officials were unsure whether Liu had the authority to make any meaningful commitments. "There is no need to rush through negotiations because "massive payments" the Chinese are now paying "go directly into the Treasury of the U.S".

The document was riddled with reversals by China that undermined core USA demands, the sources told Reuters.

Analysts say the tariff hikes could hit growth in both economies and drag down global growth. A University of Virginia Center for Politics/Ipsos poll released in February found that John F. Kennedy was rated as the most popular US president.

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Reporters at the scene sent out tweets quoting Mnuchin as saying the two countries had held "constructive discussions".

The Trump administration hopes the new tariffs will force changes in China's trade, subsidy and intellectual property practices.

This led to both sides agreeing to extend the truce until March 1, 2019 and then again indefinitely until President Trump announced a new tariff hike on May 5, 2019. A 25 per cent tariff is already in place on a further US$50 billion in imports from China.

The two sides have been unable to reach a deal due, in part, to differences over the enforcement of an agreement and a timeline for removing the tariffs. Earlier, Germany's DAX index shed 1.7 percent and France's CAC 40 lost 1.9 percent.

The higher USA import taxes do not apply to Chinese goods shipped before Friday.

Suppliers have already told Zarfas Williams they will pass on the added cost to her, likely resulting in higher prices for customers in the US she said.

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