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US to Impose New Tariffs on Chinese Handbags, Rice and Textiles


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The US is imposing new tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods as it escalates its trade war with Beijing.

The measure will apply to almost 6,000 items, marking the biggest round of US tariffs so far.

Handbags, rice and textiles will be included, but some items expected to be targeted such as smart watches and high chairs have been excluded.

The Chinese commerce ministry responded to the move by saying it had no choice but to retaliate but is yet to detail what action it will take.

The US taxes will take effect from September 24, starting at 10% and increasing to 25% from January 1, 2019, unless the two countries agree a deal.

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President Donald Trump said the latest round of tariffs was in response to China’s “unfair trade practices”.

He said: “We have been very clear about the type of changes that need to be made, and we have given China every opportunity to treat us more fairly. But, so far, China has been unwilling to change its practices.”

President Trump also warned that if China retaliated then the US would “immediately pursue phase three” and impose further tariffs on another $267 billion worth of Chinese products.

Such a move would mean almost all of China’s exports to the US would be subject to new duties.

After opening lower, the Shanghai stock market ended the day 1.8% higher, while Tokyo was up 1.4% and Hong Kong gained 0.6%.

In July, the White House increased charges on $34 billion worth of Chinese products. Then last month, the escalating trade war moved up a gear when the US brought in a 25% tax on a second wave of goods worth $16 billion.