China imposed new tariff hikes on US goods on Monday and accused Washington of bullying, giving no sign of compromise in an intensifying battle over technology that's weighing on global economic growth. The General Administration of Customs said it started collecting additional taxes of 5% and 10% on a $60 billion list of 5,207 American goods, from honey to industrial chemicals, at noon, per the AP. That coincided with the time for President Trump's planned tariff hike on $200 billion of Chinese imports to take effect, though there was no immediate US government confirmation it was collecting the higher charges. Also Monday, the Chinese government accused the Trump administration in a report of "trade bullyism" and of preaching "economic hegemony." The conflict stems from US complaints that Beijing steals or pressures foreign companies to hand over technology.
Earlier, the two sides imposed 25% penalties on $34 billion of each other's goods in July, with another $16 billion in August. Trump threatened last week to add an additional $267 billion in Chinese imports to the target list if Beijing retaliated for the latest US taxes, which would cover nearly everything China sells to the US. Monday's tariff hike follows a Wall Street Journal report that Chinese officials pulled out of a meeting to discuss possible talks proposed by Washington; envoys last met Aug. 22 in DC but reported no progress. With no settlement in sight, forecasters say the conflict between the two biggest economies could trim global economic growth through 2020. On Monday, the ratings agency Fitch cut its forecasts for next year's Chinese and global economic growth by 0.1 percentage points to 6.1% and 3.1%, respectively. "The trade war is now a reality," said Fitch's chief economist.
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