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            november 15, 2019

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Trump escalates trade war with new China tariffs


US President Donald Trump announced that the US will raise tariffs on US$200 billion of Chinese goods, because talks on a US-China trade deal are moving "too slowly", reports Shipping Gazette.
The US president warned in his tweet that the tariffs of 10 per cent on certain goods would rise to 25 per cent on Friday, and $325 billion of untaxed goods could face 25 per cent duties "shortly".
Mr Trump's latest move will raise duties on more than 5,000 products made by Chinese producers, ranging from chemicals to textiles and consumer goods.
The US president originally imposed a 10 per cent tariff on these goods in September that was due to rise in January, but postponed this as negotiations advanced.
"The Tariffs paid to the USA have had little impact on product cost, mostly borne by China," he tweeted.
The move increases pressure on China as Vice-Premier Liu He prepares to travel Washington this week to resume negotiations, which are scheduled to start tomorrow.
As recently as last week, the US had depicted the trade talks as going well, with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin describing them as "productive", BBC reported.
However Mr Trump said in his tweet: "The trade deal with China continues, but too slowly, as they attempt to renegotiate. No!"
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told Fox News that the president's tweet was a warning.
"The president is, I think, issuing a warning here, that, you know, we bent over backwards earlier, we suspended the 25 per cent tariff to 10 and then we've left it there.
"That may not be forever if the talks don't work out," he said.
Fears about a further escalation caused a slump in world stock markets towards the end of last year. The IMF has warned a full-blown trade war would weaken the global economy.

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