New tariffs on imports ramp up US/China trade war

Industry News | | MIC Customs Solutions |

Washington has imposed a raft of new import tariffs on Chinese products, leading to anger from Beijing.

The trade war between the US and China has intensified after American president Donald Trump imposed $200 billion worth of fresh tariffs on imports from the Asian country.

Starting from next Monday (September 24th), the higher import taxes will take effect at ten per cent before rising to 25 per cent on January 1st 2019, a White House announcement said.

There will also be further tariffs on another $267 billion of Chinese imports if the Chinese government takes any retaliatory action against the new measures.

A statement from Mr Trump said: "Once again, I urge China's leaders to take swift action to end their country's unfair trade practices. Hopefully, this trade situation will be resolved, in the end, by myself and President Xi of China, for whom I have great respect and affection."

The move is part of an effort by the US administration to encourage China to agree to widespread changes to its intellectual property practices. Mr Trump has also repeatedly alleged that China is participating in unfair trade practices that are detrimental to the US and expressed dissatisfaction with America's $336 billion trade deficit with China.

More than 5,000 imported items will be subject to the new tariffs, including textiles and rice. However, a number of consumer electronics including smartphones were not on the list as expected.

Beijing has once again denied the allegations and has insisted it will fight back with tariffs on $60 billion in American goods. A senior Chinese regulator told the Economic Times the move has "poisoned" the atmosphere for negotiations.

The South China Morning Post is now reporting that China is reviewing plans to send delegates to Washington for further talks, suggesting that the trade war could become longer and even more pronounced. State-run media are already campaigning for a "counterattack".

Collection of tariffs for new items on the list will start next week, but the rate increase by new year should allow importers time to adjust their supply chains and customs procedures accordingly.

Estimates from Bloomberg suggest the trade war could knock half a percentage point of China's economic growth this year, potentially rising to one point in 2019.