The United States intensified the tariff war with China on Friday by raising rates to 25 percent over $200 billion worth of Chinese goods amid talks to salvage a trade deal.
But even with Beijing’s threat of retaliation, negotiators in Washington agreed to remain at the negotiating table for the second day, keeping hopes alive for a possible deal.
US President Donald Trump, who has adopted protectionist policies, has issued orders to increase tariffs, saying that China “broke the agreement” by denying commitments made during months of negotiations.
Trump also said he had started the “paperwork” on Friday at rates of 25% over another $325 billion in Chinese imports.
In Beijing, China’s Ministry of Commerce said it “deeply regretted” the US decision, adding that it will take necessary countermeasures without giving more details.
Chinese Vice Premier Liu He; US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke for 90 minutes on Thursday and is expected to resume efforts this Friday to salvage an agreement that could end a 10-month trade war between the world’s two largest economies.
The Commerce Ministry said the talks were continuing, and that it “hopes the United States can find a compromise with China, make joint efforts and resolve the issue through cooperation and consultation.”
With negotiations in progress and no action from the Trump government to reverse the upswing, the US Customs and Border Protection have imposed a new 25% tariff on more than 5,700 categories of products that have left China.