China, US raise tariffs on billions of dollars of goods


Associated Press

BEIJING

The United States and China went ahead with tariff hikes on billions of dollars of each other’s automobiles, factory machinery and other goods Thursday in an escalation of a battle over Beijing’s technology policy that companies worry will chill global economic growth.

The increases came as envoys met in Washington for their first high-level talks in two months. They gave no sign of progress toward a settlement of U.S. complaints that Beijing steals technology and its industry development plans violate Chinese free-trade commitments.

The 25 percent duties, previously announced, apply to $16 billion of goods from each side including automobiles and metal scrap from the United States and Chinese-made factory machinery and electronic components.

In the first round of tariff hikes, President Donald Trump imposed 25 percent duties on $34 billion of Chinese imports on July 6. Beijing responded with similar penalties on the same amount of American goods.

The Chinese government criticized Thursday’s U.S. increase as a violation of World Trade Organization rules and said it would file a legal challenge.

A foreign ministry spokesman, Lu Kang, declined to give details of the Washington talks.

“We hope the U.S. side will get along with us to strive for a good result from the talks with a reasonable and practical attitude,” Lu said.

Beijing has rejected U.S. demands to scale back plans for state-led technology development that its trading partners say violate its market-opening commitments.

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