Trump administration moves ahead with new round of tariffs on Chinese imports

The latest list brings the total Chinese imports that face a 25 percent tariff to about $50 billion in a rapidly escalating trade war that could eventually slap duties on all goods traded between the world's two largest economies.

The first round of President Donald Trump's punitive tariffs on China will hit the full US$50 billion in goods starting August 23, the government announced Tuesday. A June 15 list of 284 tariffs lines has been pared down to the final list. On July 6, the USA began taxing the 818 goods, worth $34 billion, remaining from the April list. And President Donald Trump has threatened to impose tariffs on virtually everything China sells to the United States.

China has been retaliating in kind.

"Hours before the tariffs on $34 billion went into effect, Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One, "...as you know we have 200 billion in abeyance and then after the 200 billion we have 300 billion in abeyance".

The duties are part of a broader round of tariffs on $50bn worth of goods the USA announced in March.

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The latest $16 billion list will hit semiconductors from China, even though numerous basic chips in these products originate from the United States, Taiwan or South Korea.

The world's two biggest economies are locked in a trade dispute over Washington's charges that China uses predatory tactics in a drive to supplant USA technological supremacy.

The tariffs are aimed at industrial, rather than consumer, imports.

The US has said the tariffs are meant to penalise China for "unfair" trade practices, such as rules that compel companies in certain sectors to take on local partners if they want to do business in the country. The alleged tactics include cyber-theft and a requirement that American companies hand over trade secrets in exchange for access to the Chinese market.

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