U.S., China impose fresh tariffs with no trade talks in sight

Chinese President Xi Jinping left and President Trump attend a welcome ceremony in Beijing on Nov. 9 2017

A new round of tariffs between China and the United States came into effect on Monday in further escalation of the ongoing trade row between the world's two largest economies.

The new tariffs brought "new uncertainties" to China-US negotiations, Gao Feng, a spokesman of China's Ministry of Commerce said, when answering a question at a press conference on Thursday on whether the countries would have a new round of trade talks. The Wall Street Journal reported that China, which has accused Washington of being insincere in trade negotiations, has decided not to send Vice Premier Liu He to Washington this week.

Earlier, both sides had slapped additional tariffs of worth $50 billion on each other's products.

President Trump on Saturday reiterated a threat to impose further tariffs on Chinese goods should Beijing retaliate.

Economists warn that a protracted dispute will eventually stunt growth not just in the US and China but across the broader global economy.

In a first, the Trump administration has also punished a unit of China's defense ministry for buying fighter jets and missiles from Russian Federation in defiance of sanctions on Moscow. The Trump administration has also called on China to allow USA companies greater access to Chinese markets and to cut its US trade surplus.

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Trade talks in Washington last month produced no meaningful progress.

China may also be waiting for US mid-term elections early next month for any hints of changes in Washington's policy stance, Carnell added.

As the latest round of United States tariffs on China, a 10% levy targeting $200 billion in imported goods, comes into play starting at midnight Washington DC time, China is flat-out rejecting proposals for trade talks with the US.

In a statement the following day, the Chinese finance ministry said it "had no choice but to respond with its own tariffs", which fall at five or 10 percent and affect some 5,200 U.S. products. Beijing's new levies will be 5-10 percent.

Trump has warned any retaliatory measures from China would force the United States to "immediately pursue phase three", which is tariffs on $267bn of additional imports.

Some analysts say there is also a risk that China could allow its yuan currency to weaken again to cushion the blow to its exporters.

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