Trump escalates trade war with more China tariffs

US President Donald Trump has said he will impose a fresh 10% tariff on another $300bn (£247bn) of Chinese goods, in a sharp escalation of a trade war between the two countries.

It came after the latest round of bilateral talks showed little sign of a breakthrough.

The new tariffs, due to take effect on 1 September, effectively tax all Chinese imports to the US.

The duty is likely target a wide range of goods, from smartphones to clothing.

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi criticised the US move.

“Adding tariffs is definitely not a constructive way to resolve economic and trade frictions, it’s not the correct way,” Mr Wang said on the sidelines of a meeting of South East Asian ministers in Bangkok.

Mr Trump announced the tariff plan on Twitter, while taking aim at China for not honouring promises to buy more US agricultural products at this week’s negotiations in Shanghai.

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He also attacked Chinese President Xi Jinping for failing to do more to stem sales of the synthetic opioid fentanyl.

In later remarks, the US president told reporters the 10% tariff was a short-term measure and that tariffs could be lifted further in stages to more than 25%.

What has the response been so far?

The move jolted financial markets as Washington and Beijing had described this week’s trade negotiations as constructive, and scheduled another round of talks for September.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones share index closed down 1.1%, and Asia markets were sharply lower on Friday. Oil prices tumbled.

The US Chamber of Commerce, which represents more than three million US companies, said the latest tariffs on China “will only inflict greater pain on American businesses, farmers, workers and consumers, and undermine an otherwise strong US economy”.

It urged the two sides to remove all tariffs.

The latest round of duties come amid mounting concern over how effective Mr Trump’s strategy is proving to be.

On Thursday, Mr Trump’s former chief economic adviser, Gary Cohn, said in a interview that the tariff battle was having a “dramatic impact” on US manufacturing and capital investment.

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