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US imposes 25% tariff on Chinese imports; Beijing hits back


US President Donald Trump on June 15 announced tariffs of 25 per cent on $50 billion worth imports from China that contain industrially significant technologies. This includes goods related to China’s ‘Made in China 2025’ strategic plan to dominate the emerging high-technology industries that will boost China’s growth, but hurt the United States, Trump said. China immediately responded, saying it has imposed ‘equal’ tariffs on US products. "We will immediately launch tax measures of equal scale and equal strength," the Chinese commerce ministry said in a statement on its web. The statement urged other countries to ‘take collective action’ against this ‘outdated and backwards behavior’, global news wires reported. “The United States will pursue additional tariffs if China engages in retaliatory measures, such as imposing new tariffs on United States goods, services, or agricultural products; raising non-tariff barriers; or taking punitive actions against American exporters or American companies operating in China,” Trump said in his statement. US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said on the same day that the United States would begin collecting duties on 818 Chinese imports valued at $34 billion as of July 6. A second set of 284 goods valued at $16 billion will undergo an additional process of review and public comment, according to a statement released by Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR). "The United States can no longer tolerate losing our technology and intellectual property through unfair economic practices. These tariffs are essential to preventing further unfair transfers of American technology and intellectual property to China, which will protect American jobs," Trump said. The list does not include goods commonly purchased by American consumers such as cellular telephones or televisions, the USTR said. (DS)

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