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US-China Trade War May Mean Higher Prices

Tariffs of 10% and 5% apply to various goods imported from China
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 1, 2019 3:40 PM CDT
With cloudy skies in Washington, President Donald Trump speaks to the media as he returns to the White House from Camp David, Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
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(Newser) – The US and China on Sunday put in place their latest tariff increases on each other's goods, potentially raising prices Americans pay for some clothes, shoes, sporting goods and other consumer items before the holiday shopping season, the AP reports. President Donald Trump said US-China trade talks were still on for September. "We'll see what happens," he told reporters as he returned to the White House from the Camp David presidential retreat. "But we can't allow China to rip us off anymore as a country." The 15% US taxes apply to about $112 billion of Chinese imports. All told, more than two-thirds of the consumer goods the United States imports from China now face higher taxes. The administration had largely avoided hitting consumer items in its earlier rounds of tariff increases.

But with prices of many retail goods now likely to rise, the Trump administration's move threatens the US economy's main driver: consumer spending. Many US companies have warned that they will be forced to pass on to their customers the higher prices they will pay on Chinese imports. Tariffs of 10% and 5% apply to items ranging from frozen sweet corn and pork liver to marble and bicycle tires, the government announced earlier. After Sunday's move, 87% of textiles and clothing the US buys from China and 52% of shoes will be subject to import taxes. On Dec. 15, the Trump administration is scheduled to impose a second round of 15% tariffs—this time on roughly $160 billion of imports. If those duties take effect, virtually all goods imported from China will be covered.

(Read more tariffs stories.)

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