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China Retaliates With Tariffs On $60 Billion Worth Of U.S. Goods

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In an escalation of the trade war between the world's two largest economies, China announced plans to impose tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods on Tuesday in retaliation for the U.S. decision to impose tariffs on another $200 billion worth of Chinese products.

The Chinese tariffs, which are due to take effect on September 24th, will range from 5 percent to 10 percent, depending on the product.

China argued it had no choice but to retaliate after the U.S. on Monday applied new tariffs to a vast range of goods in nearly 6,000 product categories, mainly consumer goods, including furniture, handbags, rice, fish, meat, fruits, cereal and textiles.

"We feel deeply regretful over the decision. China will be forced to take synchronous countermeasures to safeguard our legitimate rights and interests as well as the global free trade order," a spokesperson for the Chinese Commerce Ministry said.

The new U.S. tariffs have brought new uncertainties for bilateral consultations, the ministry said, adding that Beijing hopes the U.S. will correct its behavior.

Unlike in the recent past, it was President Donald Trump himself who announced the latest round of U.S. tariffs on the Asian giant.

"Today, following seven weeks of public notice, hearings, and extensive opportunities for comment, I directed the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to proceed with placing additional tariffs on roughly $200 billion of imports from China," Trump said in a statement.

The tariffs will take effect on September 24th and be set at a level of 10 percent until the end of the year. On January 1st, the tariffs will be increased to 25 percent.

Trump warned that "if China takes retaliatory action against our farmers or other industries, we will immediately pursue phase three, which is tariffs on approximately $267 billion of additional imports."

The president said he is taking this action on the basis of a thorough study by the USTR, which concluded that China is engaged in numerous unfair policies and practices relating to U.S. technology and intellectual property - such as forcing American companies to transfer technology to Chinese counterparts.

These practices constitute a grave threat to the long-term health and prosperity of the U.S. economy, Trump said.

Trump said that despite his pleas to Beijing to change their unfair practices and give fair and reciprocal treatment to American companies, China has been unwilling to do so and recently imposed new tariffs in an effort to hurt the U.S. economy.

This is the third round of tariffs that the Trump administration has imposed on China so far this year.

In July, the U.S. imposed tariffs of 25 percent on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports. China retaliated by imposing tariffs on an equal amount of U.S. exports to China.

The U.S. imposed a 25 percent tariff on another $16 billion worth of Chinese products in August, and China responded immediately with tariffs on 333 U.S. products of the same amount.

With three rounds of tariff hikes, about half of all Chinese imports to the U.S. are now subject to the new duties, making them costlier in America.

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