Beijing, Washington Kick off New Round of Tariffs in Trade War

China and the United States began imposing additional tariffs on each other’s goods on Sunday, the latest escalation in a bruising trade war, but President Donald Trump said the sides would still meet for talks later this month, Reuters informed.

Trump, commenting on Twitter, said his goal was to reduce U.S. reliance on China and again urged American companies to find alternate suppliers outside China.

A new round of tariffs took effect from 0401 GMT, with Beijing’s levy of 5% on U.S. crude marking the first time the fuel has been targeted since the world’s two largest economies started their trade war more than a year ago.

The Trump administration on Sunday began collecting 15% tariffs on more than $125 billion in Chinese imports, including smart speakers, Bluetooth headphones and many types of footwear.

In retaliation, China started to impose additional tariffs on some of the U.S. goods on a $75-billion target list. Beijing did not specify the value of the goods that face higher tariffs from Sunday.

The extra tariffs of 5% and 10% were levied on 1,717 items of a total of 5,078 products originating from the United States. Beijing will start collecting additional tariffs on the rest from Dec. 15.

Trump on Sunday cited comments from U.S. economist Peter Morici, who claims the tariffs will not impact U.S. consumers that much given a drop in the Chinese currency, and called on U.S. companies to find suppliers outside of China.

“We don’t want to be servants to the Chinese!” he said. “This is about American Freedom. Redirect the supply chain. There is no reason to buy everything from China!”

Later, he told reporters that talks with China were continuing and the two sides would meet in person in September.

“We are talking to China, the meeting is still on, as you know, in September,” he said. “We’ll see what happens, but we can’t allow China to rip us off anymore as a country.”

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