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AFP
US President Donald Trump, speaking to the media outside the White House on August 30, said new tariffs against Chinese goods ‘are on’ (AFP Photo/MANDEL NGAN)

US President Donald Trump, speaking to the media outside the White House on August 30, said new tariffs against Chinese goods ‘are on’
US President Donald Trump, speaking to the media outside the White House on August 30, said new tariffs against Chinese goods ‘are on’ (AFP Photo/MANDEL NGAN)
Washington (AFP) – Washington moved ahead Sunday with new tariffs on Chinese imports as it stepped up a high-pressure campaign aimed at coercing Beijing to sign a new trade deal even amid fears of a further slowing of US and world growth.

The additional 15 percent tariffs, affecting a portion of the $300 billion in goods from the Asian giant that so far has been spared, took effect at 04H01 GMT, according to the US Trade Representative’s office.

President Donald Trump on Friday ruled out any further postponement. “They’re on,” he told reporters.

The new tariffs will target a range of products, from foodstuffs (ketchup, butchered meat, pork sausage, fruits, vegetables, milk, cheese) to sports equipment (golf clubs, surf boards, bicycles), to musical instruments, sportswear and furniture, according to an official list.

Economists at the Washington-based Peterson Institute for International Economics estimate $112 billion in goods will be affected.

The trade war touched off by Trump more than a year ago received its latest jolt last week with the US announcement that all Chinese goods would be subjected to tariffs by the end of this year.

More than $250 billion worth of China’s $540 billion in exports to the US (2018 figure) are already subject to tariffs.

Trump’s announcement earlier this month drew a retaliatory move from Beijing, which said it would target $75 billion in US goods, beginning in part on September 1.

Hundreds of US companies and professional groups have appealed to the Trump administration to postpone the new tariffs, saying they would destroy jobs and place a burden on consumers.

But on Friday, the Republican president, already campaigning for a second term, said those complaining were themselves partly at fault.

“Badly run and weak companies are smartly blaming these small Tariffs instead of themselves for bad management,” he tweeted. “…and who can really blame them for doing that? Excuses!”

Dismissing the idea of postponing the tariffs to a later date, Trump nonetheless offered a glimmer of hope in the form of ongoing talks.

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