The Trump administration has announced a further round of tariffs on Chinese imports, escalating a mounting trade war that has raised concerns among US businesses that the cost of goods for American consumers is set to rise.
According to the US Trade Representative’s Office (USTR), a total of 279 Chinese products will attract tariffs, down from an initial list of 284 products that was published on 15 June.
CNBC reports that the latest list “brings to about $50 billion in goods that now face a 25% tariff”, noting that “semiconductors, among the largest categories, remained on the list”.
Bloomberg reports that the $50 billion total could increase soon, with the USTR “reviewing 10% tariffs on a further $200 billion in Chinese imports, and is even considering raising the rate to 25%”, which may come into effect on 6 September.
The move comes despite vows from China that it will impose tit-for-tat tariffs on US products, including meat, coffee and automobile parts, and complaints from Beijing accusing the US of “trade blackmail”.
“In violation of the bilateral consensus reached after multiple rounds of negotiations, the United States has again unilaterally escalated trade frictions,” the Chinese State Council Tariff Commission said in a statement.
The announcement comes after Donald Trump took several swipes at China over the weekend, including telling a rally that he holds the advantage over China, and that playing hardball on trade is “my thing”.
“Tariffs are working big time. Every country on Earth wants to take wealth out of the US, always to our detriment. I say, as they come, tax them, If they don’t want to be taxed, let them make or build the product in the US. In either event, it means jobs and great wealth,” Trump said.