Huge US-China punitive tariffs take effect

US President Donald Trump

President Donald Trump's tariffs on another $200 billion of Chinese imports took effect on Monday, with Beijing accusing Washington of "economic intimidation" as the standoff between the world's top two economies clouds the global outlook.

The General Administration of Customs said it started collecting additional taxes of 5 to 10 percent on a list of thousands of American goods at noon Monday, ratcheting up their fight over Beijing's technology policy.

U.S. tariffs on $200 billion (€170 billion) worth of Chinese goods and retaliatory duties by Beijing on $60 billion worth of USA products took effect after the weekend.

The pair have slapped tit-for-tat tariffs on $50 billion ($A68 billion) worth of goods since the trade war kicked off.

Monday's tariff hike follows a report by The Wall Street Journal that Chinese officials pulled out of a meeting to discuss possible talks proposed by Washington. Companies on both sides of the Pacific are already reporting disruptions to their operations and are reviewing investment plans.

Economists warn that a protracted dispute will eventually stunt growth not just USA and China but across the broader global economy. To the contrary, Trump has claimed that his tariffs are meant to protect and support American industry. Earlier, he threatened Beijing with further tariffs on around $267 billion of imports if Beijing retaliates against the latest measure.

Beijing said that the Trump administration has "abandoned the fundamental norms of mutual respect and equal consultation that guide global relations".

Even before Trump's election, the United States has complained vigorously that China has been unfair to U.S. businesses and has stolen technology by forcing firms to reveal secrets as a condition to operate in the fast-growing Asian economy.

It affirmed China's stance that it is a developing country, a claim that rankles Washington, Europe and other trading partners. They say Beijing is no longer entitled to concessions it was granted when it joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, such as the right to limit access to its finance, energy and other markets.

Soon after the fresh duties went into effect, China accused the United States of engaging in "trade bullyism" and said it was intimidating other countries to submit to its will through measures such as tariffs, the official Xinhua news agency said.

The latest batch of Chinese imports to be hit will face 10 percent tariffs through the end of the year, and then the rate will jump to 25 percent.

Imports of American goods a year ago totalled $153.9 billion while the United States bought Chinese goods worth $429.8 billion, according to Chinese customs data. This time worth US$200 billion.

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