World News: 10:30 GMT Friday 2nd August 2019. [Yahoo Business News Feed via SPi World News]
US President Donald Trump announced on Thursday that he will impose new tariffs on US$300 billion worth of Chinese imports following a high-level trade mission that, Trump said, produced too little in terms of concessions from Beijing.US customs will impose "a small, additional" levy of 10 per cent on the imports, starting on September 1."China agreed to buy agricultural product from the US in large quantities, but did not do so," the US leader said in a series of tweets."Additionally, my friend President Xi said that he would stop the sale of Fentanyl to the United States " this never happened, and many Americans continue to die! "" Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 1, 2019Trump's announcement breaks a ceasefire that had been in place since he met his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping a month ago during the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan.It also marks the biggest escalation in the 13-month trade war since the US leader announced in May, just ahead of bilateral talks in Washington, that 10 per cent tariffs on US$250 billion worth of goods would step up to 25 per cent.Industry groups affected by the import tariffs weighed in quickly after Trump's announcement, with the US Chamber of Commerce, National Retail Federation, Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) and the American Apparel and Footwear Association all condemning the move.The action also rattled capital markets and oil prices. The S&P; 500 stock index dived after Trump's tariff announcement, erasing an earlier daily gain of more than 1 per cent and falling to a loss of the same magnitude, while oil prices fell by nearly 8 per cent.The new tariff "is a direct hit on consumer products and family budgets, plain and simple", RILA, which counts Apple and Nike as members, said in a statement.The US tariff increases will hurt American buyers with higher prices on items such as clothing, toys and home goods, the Retail Industry Leaders Association said. Photo: SCMP Pictures alt=The US tariff increases will hurt American buyers with higher prices on items such as clothing, toys and home goods, the Retail Industry Leaders Association said. Photo: SCMP Pictures"Tariffs are taxes on American consumers. And if these tariffs happen, American consumers will bear the brunt of these tactics via higher prices on everyday items like clothing, toys, home goods, and electronics," the association said."American families shouldn't be a pawn in this trade war."Myron Brilliant, the US Chamber of Commerce's executive vice-president and head of international affairs, said raising tariffs by 10 per cent on an additional US$300 billion worth of imports from China "will only inflict greater pain on American businesses, farmers, workers and consumers, and undermine an otherwise strong US economy".However, speaking to reporters at the White House after his announcement, Trump asserted that China was bearing the brunt of the trade war.China is "paying for these tariffs. We're not.", Trump said, adding: "Until such time as there is a deal, we'll be taxing them".The latest twist in the trade war underscores the distance between Washington and Beijing.State television broadcasts ahead of trade talks in Shanghai this week between China's vice-premier Liu He, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin "the first since talks broke down in May ", lauded China's purchases of US agricultural goods as a sign of good will in the trade dispute.The purchases were part of "unremitting efforts to show goodwill" ahead of the resumption of trade talks, as well as a bid to shift the focus away from the controversial issues of forced technology transfer and enforcement, according to state media.After the talks, the US said it wanted further negotiations to result in "an enforceable trade deal".China's statement did not mention enforcement, suggesting that this demand remains a stumbling block to a deal. China's previous objections to US proposals on the issue led to the breakdown of talks in early May.Both sides agreed that the meeting in Shanghai was "constructive" and they agreed to hold another round of talks in the US in September.Trump has repeatedly accused China of not doing enough to halt imports of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid which the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has blamed for 18,000 fatal overdoses in 2016.When Trump met Xi in Argentina in December, the Chinese president promised to tighten restrictions on the manufacturing and sale of the drug.As part of the curbs, all fentanyl-related substances were added to a supplementary list of controlled narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances with non-medical use.This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia for more than a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit the SCMP's Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2019 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved. Copyright (c) 2019. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.
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