10 May 2019
Beijing: The US on Friday has more than doubled tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese products from 10 per cent to 25 per cent, in a sharp escalation of their damaging trade war, the Chinese government has confirmed.
"The US has raised the tariff on $200 billion of Chinese exports to the US from 10 per cent to 25 per cent," China's Commerce Ministry said on its website.
"It is hoped that the US and the Chinese side will work together... to resolve existing problems through cooperation and consultation."
Meanwhile, a Chinese delegation who is currently in Washington for the 11th round of high-level economic and trade consultations with American officials, said that Beijing "deeply regrets" that the US has increased the additional tariffs, Xinhua news agency reported.
China will have to take necessary countermeasures, the delegation, led by Vice Premier Liu He, said.
With this round of talks still ongoing, Beijing hopes that the US can meet China halfway, and that the two sides will make joint efforts to resolve existing problems through cooperation and consultation, it added.
Chinese stock markets were little changed after the tariffs came into force, with the Hang Seng index trading up 0.6 per cent and the Shanghai Composite 1.5 per cent higher.
The tariffs come after US President Donald Trump on Sunday threatened to raise tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods.
The American and Chinese negotiators met on Thursday evening but failed to produce an agreement to forestall the higher levies and to end a tit-for-tat trade war.
However, the White House said talks would continue on Friday, said The New York Times.
"This evening, Ambassador (Robert E.) Lightizer and Secretary (Steve) Mnuchin met with President Trump to discuss the ongoing trade negotiations with China. The Ambassador and Secretary then had a working dinner with Vice Premier Liu He, and agreed to continue discussions," it added.
The 10 per cent duties on $200 billion worth of Chinese products - including fish, handbags, clothing and footwear - were due to rise at the start of the year, but it was delayed as negotiations advanced since agreeing on a truce last December.
Before the trade talks began on Thursday evening, Trump earlier in the day said that he had received a "beautiful letter" from Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping and that they would probably speak by phone.
Both sides have already imposed tariffs on billions of dollars worth of one another's goods, the BBC reported.
Last year, the US slapped duties on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods and China levelled duties on $110 billion of US products.