China’s tariff hikes on US goods come into force

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New Chinese tariffs of up to 25% have been imposed on $60bn (£46bn) worth of US goods.

The tariffs, which came into force at midnight in Beijing on 1 June, are in retaliation for the US doubling tariffs on $200bn of Chinese goods in May.

China had previously imposed tariffs of between 5-10% on 5,140 US products.

On Friday, China announced plans to blacklist some foreign firms and individuals it deemed harmful to the country’s interests.

China’s Commerce Ministry said it had decided to create an “undesirable entities” list to combat “unilateralism and trade protectionism”.

“At present, the world economic development is uncertain and unstable factors are increasing,” Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng told reporters at a press conference in Beijing.

“Unilateralism and trade protectionism are on the rise. The multilateral trading system is facing severe challenges, and normal international economic and trade activities are negatively disrupted.”

He added that China would blacklist any entities, organisations or individuals who could cause “substantial damage” to Chinese enterprises, as well as any entities that pose a potential threat to China’s national security.

China’s move mirrors a similar one by US President Donald Trump in mid-May, where he declared a national emergency to protect US computer networks from “foreign adversaries”.

The Trump administration then added Huawei to a list of companies that American firms cannot trade with unless they have a licence.

Huawei has been at the epicentre of the US-China power struggle for months.

Led by the US, the firm faces a growing backlash from Western countries over possible risks posed by using its products in next-generation 5G mobile networks.

The US argues the Chinese government could use Huawei products for surveillance.

Huawei denies such claims and says it is independent from the Chinese government.

So far, the US has imposed tariffs on $250bn of Chinese goods, having accused the country of unfair trade practices.

Beijing hit back with duties on $110bn of US goods, blaming the US for starting “the largest trade war in economic history”.

Tariffs will be raised on a total of 5,140 products. They include:

  • Meat: Fresh or cold boned sheep meat, smoked or salted beef, chopped meat
  • Alcohol: Sparkling wine, regular wine, other fermented beverages, gin, tequila
  • Oil seeds and fruits: Sunflower seeds, other oily seeds and fruits, plants mainly used as medicine
  • Frozen foods: peas, corn, legumes, spinach, fruits and nuts