The US hikes tariffs on $200bn worth of Chinese goods from 10 percent up to 25 percent, heightening tensions with China.
A US tariff increase on hundreds of billions of dollars of goods imported from Chinahas taken effect after US and Chinese trade negotiators failed to reach an 11th-hour breakthrough – but agreed to continue their discussions to end their trade war.
US President Donald Trump met Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin following the first day of the crucial talks with the Chinese delegation and the sides “agreed to continue discussions tomorrow morning”, the White House said in a statement late on Thursday.
However, the announcement did not affect US plans to more than double the tariffs on $200bn worth of Chinese imports to 25 percent – dashing hopes that Trump might decide to hold off at the last minute as the negotiations continued.
Beijing had threatened to retaliate if Washington went ahead with the tariff hikes at 12:01am Eastern time (04:01 GMT) on Friday in the United States, adding to the heated rhetoric from both sides that was shaking stock markets around the world.
After the new tariffs took effect, China’s commerce ministry said it “deeply regrets” the move and promised to take “necessary countermeasures.” It did not specify what those might be. But it sounded hopeful that the two sides could reach a compromise.
“The eleventh round of China-US high-level economic and trade consultations is underway and we hope the US and the Chinese side can meet each other halfway,” the commerce ministry’s statement said.