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    The label reading "Made in China" on a sweatshirt is seen over another shirt with a U.S. flag at a souvenir stand in Boston, Massachusetts January 18, 2011. | Photo: Reuters

Published 1 August 2019

The tariffs will affect a wide range of consumer goods from cell phones and laptops to toys and footwear.

United States President Donald Trump announced Tuesday a 10 percent tariff on the remaining US$300 billion worth of Chinese imports starting Sept. 1, after U.S. and Chinese negotiators failed to reach a trade deal this week in Shanghai.  

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The tariffs will affect a wide range of consumer goods from cell phones and laptops to toys and footwear.

Back in May, as trade-talks collapsed in Washington, Trump threatened to impose 25 percent sanctions on those Chinese goods, prompting warnings from Walmart and other major U.S. retailers of a sharp spike in consumer prices.

This time around Trump justified the tariff hike by saying that China didn’t buy more U.S. agricultural products and criticized China’s President Xi Jinping for not “stopping” the sale of the synthetic opioid fentanyl to the U.S.

“This does not include the US$250 billion already tariffed at 25 percent,” Trump specified.

After the news broke out, markets did not react well. U.S. stocks fell and oil prices plummeted, as further fallout is expected. The IMF has already warned that tariffs already in place will shave 0.2 percent off global economic output in 2020.

A Tit-for-Tat Trade War

Bilateral relations between both nations have soured since the start of the tariff wars. After a failed round of trade-talks on May 10, Washington hiked U.S. tariffs by 25 percent on US$200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

China retaliated with higher tariffs on most U.S. imports on a revised US$60 billion target list.

On May 16, the Trump administration added Huawei Technologies to a trade blacklist, immediately enacting restrictions that will make it extremely difficult for the company to do business with U.S. counterparts.

However, due in part from preassure of U.S. techonology manufacturers, Trump eased on the restrictions against Huawei after the G20 summit, allowing U.S. companies to sell products to the Chinese company.

Chinese and U.S. negotiating teams will intensify trade consultations at the work level in August to prepare for the meeting of chief trade negotiators which will restart in September. 

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