Trump increases tariffs on thousands of Chinese products

Trump increases tariffs on thousands of Chinese products

The tariff hike came despite American and Chinese negotiators meeting for last-ditch talks in Washington on Thursday.

Import taxes on products from 5,700 categories rose from 10% to 25% at 12.01am Washington time (5.01am UK time).

Internet modems, furniture, lighting products, car parts, vacuum cleaners and building materials are all affected.

China, which had threatened to retaliate if President Donald Trump carried out his threat, responded by saying it "deeply" regretted the escalation and there would be "countermeasures" to come.

Its foreign ministry committed to the current round of talks in Washington but cautioned that the US must meet it half way.

The White House had given just a week's notice of the tariff increase, accusing Beijing of scuppering an agreement by reneging on its promises at the last moment.

Areas of dispute include intellectual property theft and forced technology transfers.

Following the tariff increase, France responded by saying the trade war was the single biggest threat to the world economy with the spat already being blamed for curbing growth over the past year.

Some US business leaders have warned that the escalation is an own-goal as it will hit domestic consumers and small companies the hardest.

Gary Shapiro, chief executive of the Consumer Technology Association, said: "Our industry supports more than 18 million US jobs but raising tariffs will be disastrous.

"The tariffs already in place have cost the American technology sector about $1bn (£770m) more a month since October. That can be life and death for small businesses and start-ups that can't absorb the added costs."

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