US tariff hike on $200 bn of Chinese imports takes effect

US President Donald Trump's tariff increase to 25 per cent on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports took effect today beginning 0401 GMT, as negotiators from both countries resume their high-stakes trade negotiations in Washington, DC. US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin briefed Trump yesterday on the negotiations. 

Lighthizer and Mnuchin had a working dinner with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He last night and agreed to continue talks Friday morning, according to White House spokesman Judd Deere. 

Goods in the more than 5,700 affected product categories that left Chinese ports and airports before midnight will be subject to the original 10 percent duty rate, a US Customs and Border Protection spokeswoman said. 

The grace period was not applied to three previous rounds of tariffs imposed last year on Chinese goods, which had much longer notice periods of at least three weeks before the duties took effect. 

Trump gave US importers less than five days notice about his decision to increase the rate on the $200 billion category of goods to 25 per cent, which now matches the rate on a prior $50 billion category of Chinese machinery and technology goods, global newswires reported. 

Data transmission devices, furniture, lighting products, auto parts, vacuum cleaners and building materials are high on the list of products subject to the higher duties. 

Until last weekend, it appeared that a deal was in sight. But U.S. officials said this week that China had backtracked on commitments it had made earlier. They didn't specify what the commitments were. 




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