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    A "Made in China" sign is seen on a box at a stall inside an electronics mall on Huaqiangbei Commercial Street, a marketplace for Chinese producers and international wholesale buyers, in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, China August 9, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 1 September 2019

As promised by U.S. President Donald Trump, on Sunday, Sept. 1, part of the new additional tariffs imposed by the U.S. government on about US$125 billion worth of Chinese imports took effect.

The United States government began enforcing 15 percent tariffs on a variety of Chinese goods Sunday, as China began taxing U.S. crude, the latest escalation in the year-long trade war.

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As promised by U.S. President Donald Trump, on Sunday, Sept. 1, part of the new additional tariffs imposed by the U.S. government on about US$125 billion worth of Chinese imports took effect, while the rest (US$157 billion) will come into force on Dec. 15. 

The products include footwear, clothing, smartwatches, and flat-panel televisions, among other detailed in a 122-page list, which experts believe will end up hurting U.S. consumers more than the Chinese economy. 

JPMorgan researchers estimated that the levies will cost U.S. households up to US$1,000 a year and the latest round will hit a significant number of U.S. consumer goods, adding that these costs could shoot up to as high as US$1,500 dollars a year if Washington proceeds with its threat of further hiking the tariffs.

“The ongoing trade war with China is also dampening business investment and manufacturing,” a commentary in the official Xinhua news agency reads.

Steve Lamar, executive vice president of the American Apparel & Footwear Association, said on Sunday the new tariffs were “just in time for our most important selling season of the year. They claim that they are hurting China but, in reality, they are hurting us. Prices will go up, sales will go down, jobs will be lost.”

The U.S. Commerce Department said on Thursday that it revised the second-quarter growth of the U.S. economy to two percent, down from the 2.1 percent estimated last month.

“The United States should learn how to behave like a responsible global power and stop acting as a ‘school bully.’ As the world's only superpower, it needs to shoulder its due responsibility, and join other countries in making this world a better and more prosperous place,” Xinhua added. 

Meanwhile and in relation, Beijing will implement a levy of five percent on U.S. crude, as well as additional tariffs on some of the U.S. goods on a US$75 billion target list.

The extra tariffs of 5 and 10 percent will levy 1,717 items of a total of 5,078 products originating from the United States. Beijing will start collecting additional tariffs on the rest from Dec. 15.

“Washington's ever-escalating trade offensive seeking to extract unreasonable concessions from Beijing has fallen...White House tariff men should learn is that the Chinese economy is strong and resilient enough to resist the pressure brought about in the ongoing trade war,” the state agency commentary said.

Despite pleas from Trump for U.S. companies to divest from the Asian giant, figures show the complete opposite. In the first half of 2019, U.S. companies invested US$6.8 billion dollars in China, an increase of 1.5 percent over the same period over the previous two years, according to the latest data from New York economic research firm Rongding Consulting.

However, China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, reiterated that they “hope the U.S. will meet China halfway, and implement the consensus of the two heads of the two countries in Osaka.”

Chinese and U.S. negotiating teams continue with trade consultations at the work level to prepare for the 13th round of chief trade negotiations which will restart in September, hoping to reach a trade deal.

“We are talking to China, the meeting is still on, as you know, in September,” Trump said. 

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