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Trade war: China retaliates, announcing tariffs on more U.S. goods will start Aug. 23

Trade war: China retaliates, announcing tariffs on more U.S. goods will start Aug. 23
American and Chinese flags are displayed in Washington in 2011. (Charles Dharapak / Associated Press)

China on Wednesday showed no signs of backing down in its escalating trade war with the U.S., announcing that it will begin imposing additional 25% tariffs on $16 billion of American goods starting Aug. 23.

The announcement by China’s Commerce Ministry came a day after the Trump administration formalized its own additional tariffs of the same size and on the same value of Chinese goods, effective on the same date.

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Both moves were expected as the tit-for-tat trade battle continues. The new U.S. tariffs are “very unreasonable,” the Chinese Commerce Ministry said in a statement.

China’s new tariffs, originally outlined in June, will hit 333 categories of U.S. imports, including some vehicles, fiber optic cables, industrial chemicals, gasoline and other fuels.

Both countries slapped tariffs on $34 billion in imports from each other last month as President Trump has sought to force changes in China’s policies to reduce the U.S. trade deficit with the Asian superpower.

Trump has threatened to place tariffs on an additional $200 billion in Chinese imports. Last week, Trump tried to increase pressure on Beijing by directing administration officials to consider more than doubling the size of those tariffs, to 25% from the 10% initially proposed in July.

The U.S. trade representative’s office announced on Tuesday that it was moving forward with additional 25% tariffs on $16 billion of imports from China. Customs officials will begin collecting those on Aug. 23 on 279 categories of goods, including motorcycles, fiber optic cables and railway cars.

The National Assn. of Manufacturers trade group warned of the effects of the trade battle on the U.S. economy and urged the Trump administration and Chinese officials to renew negotiations to resolve the dispute.

“Two things are abundantly clear to manufacturers: China cheats, and another round of tariffs on China will not fix the problem,” Jay Timmons, the group’s president, said in response to the latest U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods.

“While these additional tariffs may be an attempt to create more leverage, they also increase the risks for manufacturing in America and add to mounting uncertainty,” he said. “We are already seeing price increases that will be felt by consumers and working families, and additional retaliatory tariffs could close major markets off to U.S. exports.”

China appeared unwilling to back down.

“Some people selfishly swim against the tide and act against morality, wantonly raising the barrier of tariffs and waving the stick of hegemony everywhere,” said an editorial published Wednesday by the official Xinhua News Agency, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Bloomberg was used in compiling this report.

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9:40 a.m.: This article was updated with staff reporting and additional details.

This article originally was published at 7:20 a.m.

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