The U.S. increased tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods to 25 percent Friday hours after trade talks held in Washington failed to produce a breakthrough. President Trump has also threatened to impose additional levies on virtually everything China exports to the U.S. as punishment for what he said was Beijing’s attempt to “renegotiate” a trade deal.
The White House said talks would resume again on Friday but the White House said it had no plans to suspend the scheduled tariff increase.
The Chinese government on Friday expressed “deep regret over the development” and pledged to take “necessary countermeasures.”
“We hope the United States will meet us halfway, and work with us to resolve existing issues through cooperation and consultation,” China’s Ministry of Commerce said in a statement. The ministry did not give specifics on how it would respond.
The Trump administration’s decision to impose new taxes on Chinese exports comes after the U.S. accused China of backtracking on commitments made during recent negotiations on trade. Trump has repeatedly criticized China for unfair trade practices, particularly with regards to access to China, intellectual property and technology transfers.
Trump, angered by what he viewed as an act of defiance, responded last Sunday by threatening to raise existing tariffs to 25 percent and impose new ones on an additional $325 billion worth of products. China has said it is prepared to retaliate should those tariffs go into effect.
The higher tax on the $200 billion in Chinese imports hits many consumer products that Americans rely on from Beijing, like seafood, luggage and electronics, raising prices for American companies and their customers across a large portion of sectors. The tariff rate on those goods was originally set at 10 percent.
The American Apparel and Footwear Association estimates that a 25 percent tariff on apparel imports will increase costs for a family of four by $500 a year. The higher tariffs will be applied to relevant US-bound goods exported from China on or after Friday, according to a notice from the US Federal Register.