Trade Agency Affirms Trump’s Extra 5% Tariff Hike on Chinese Goods

The U.S. Trade Representative’s office on Wednesday reaffirmed President Donald Trump’s plans to impose an additional 5% tariff on a list of $300 billion of Chinese imports starting on September 1 and December 15, Reuters informs.

The USTR said in an official notice that on Sept 1, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency will begin collecting a 15% tariff on a portion of the list that contains over $125 billion of targeted goods from China, including smartwatches, Bluetooth headphones, flat panel televisions and footwear.

A 15% tariff will be levied on the remainder of the list, which includes cellphones, laptop computers, toys and clothing, from December 15, the agency said in the Federal Register filing.

The Trump administration had previously planned to impose a lower 10% tariff on the $300 billion of imports, which represents nearly all the remaining U.S. imports from China yet to be hit with punitive U.S. tariffs.

Trump announced the tariff increase last Friday on Twitter, in response to Chinese retaliatory tariffs on $75 billion worth of U.S. goods, including crude oil, escalating the protracted trade war between the world’s two largest economies, Reuters adds.

The Federal Register notice, however, did not mention Trump’s announcement of his intention to increase the duty to 30% on a separate list of $250 billion of Chinese imports from October 1, that are already being taxed at 25%.

A USTR spokesman said the October 1 tariff increase, along with a process for collecting public comments on it, will be detailed in another Federal Register notice.

“China’s most recent response of announcing a new tariff increase on U.S. goods has shown that the current action being taken is no longer appropriate,” USTR said in the notice here posted to a government website on Wednesday.

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