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08 August 2018, 11:18 | Hattie Nash
China confirmed that it will impose 25 percent tariffs on an additional $16 billion worth of imports from the U.S. from August 23, matching an earlier move from Washington in another ratchet higher for the trade war between the two nations.
The US had already levied 25 percent duties on $34 billion in Chinese goods on July 6, prompting swift in-kind retaliation from Beijing. Last week Trump threatened to jack up the tariff rate on the next $200 billion in Chinese imports it plans to target to 25 percent, from the previously stated 10 percent.
Chinese state media, reflecting the government's stance, has said China will not be cowed in the face of U.S. threats.
Customs officials will begin collecting the border tax August 23, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said. Chinese data on Wednesday showed exports to the U.S. rose 13.3% in July to $41.5 billion against a year ago.
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It is the second round of duties imposed by the countries as Washington and Beijing exchange tit-for-tat measures in an escalating trade war.
The move is the latest escalation of President Donald Trump's trade war with China.
At the same time, Beijing reported a $28.1bn trade surplus with the United States in July, just below the record $28.9bn seen in June.
Still, disagreements between the two major economic powers run deeper than just the trade balance and tensions remain over market access, intellectual property, technology transfer and investment.
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The surplus with the United States was higher than China's overall trade surplus in July, which was $28.05 billion, indicating China ran a net trade deficit with the world excluding the U.S. At that time, Beijing threatened a 25 percent tariff on US crude imports, although it did not issue a specific date for the move. China has vowed to retaliate to an equal degree. The number of categories of goods subject to tariffs rose to 333 from 114 in the June draft, although the total value is unchanged.
After a strong start to the year, growth in the world's second-largest economy cooled slightly in the second quarter, partly hit by the government's years-long efforts to tackle debt risks.
China, however, would run out of US imports to levy, as it bought only $130 billion worth of American goods previous year.
"This is a very unreasonable practice", the Chinese commerce ministry said of the USA action on Wednesday as it rolled out China's counter-tariffs.
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