US raises tariffs on $200bn of Chinese goods

The US has more than doubled tariffs on $200bn (£153.7bn) worth of Chinese products, in a sharp escalation of the countries’ damaging trade war.

Tariffs on affected Chinese goods have risen to 25% from 10%, and Beijing has vowed to retaliate.

China said it “deeply regrets” the move and will have to take “necessary counter-measures.”

The move comes as high-level officials from both sides are attempting to salvage a trade deal in Washington.

Only recently, the US and China appeared to be close to ending months of hostilities.

China’s Commerce Ministry confirmed the latest US tariff hike on its website.

“It is hoped that the US and the Chinese sides will work together … to resolve existing problems through cooperation and consultation,” it said in a statement.

Chinese stock markets were little changed after the deadline passed, with the Hang Seng index trading up 0.6% and the Shanghai Composite 1.5% higher.

The market took a beating earlier this week after US President Donald Trump flagged the tariff hike on Sunday.

The 10% duties on $200bn worth of Chinese products – including fish, handbags, clothing and footwear – were due to rise at the start of the year.

That was delayed as negotiations advanced, but Trump is now saying talks are progressing “too slowly”. (BBC)