China Slams 25-Percent Tariff On American Cars And Motorcycles

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China will impose tariffs on an additional $16 billion worth of USA products, officials announced Wednesday, marking the latest parry in an escalating trade war between the two countries.

China's Commerce Ministry called the USA decision to place the latest round of tariffs on Chinese goods "unreasonable", and said it chose to take counter measures, matching the tariffs in percentage and value.

The increased tariffs don't take effect until August 23, leaving time for the two sides to negotiate an alternative.

The office of US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said its "exhaustive" investigation showed that "China's acts, policies and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property and innovation are unreasonable and discriminatory and burden US commerce".

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For its part, China has threatened to ratchet up the tit-for-tat trade war by slapping tariffs on another $60bn of American imports.

While trade tensions are being ratcheting up, China's trade surplus with the USA stood at US$28.1 billion in July, close to the record-high in June, data released Wednesday showed. China has responded with retaliatory tariffs of its own. Washington has long criticised China's trade surplus with the United States and has demanded Beijing cut it.

China's surplus with the United States shrank marginally to $28.09 billion last month from a record $28.97 billion in June.

In June, China's crude oil imports had dropped for a second consecutive month and hit their lowest level since December 2017 on the back of trimmed purchases by the independent refiners-the so-called "teapots". Beijing, accusing the United States of trade bullying, has retaliated by imposing tariffs on an equal measure of American goods.

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"Although this may for a moment bring preening with delight, it will make it hard to resolve economic imbalances or out of kilter politics and other deep-rooted problems".

John Neuffer, president and CEO of the Semiconductor Industry Association, said in a statement they were disappointed and puzzled why semiconductors remain on the final tariff list.

The trade representative said the tariffs were a response to an investigation, released this year, which found China's policies on technology transfer, intellectual property and innovation were unreasonable and discriminatory, and placed an unfair burden United States commerce.

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