U.S. President Donald Trump’s tariff increase to 25% on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods took effect on Friday, and Beijing said it would strike back, ratcheting up tensions as the two sides pursue last-ditch talks to try salvaging a trade deal.
China’s Commerce Ministry said it “deeply regrets” the U.S. decision, adding that it would take necessary countermeasures, without elaborating.
The hike comes in the midst of two days of talks between top U.S. and Chinese negotiators to try to rescue a faltering deal aimed at ending a 10-month trade war between the world’s two largest economies.
Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin talked for 90 minutes on Thursday and were expected to resume talks on Friday.
The Commerce Ministry said that negotiations were continuing, and that it “hopes the United States can meet China halfway, make joint efforts, and resolve the issue through cooperation and consultation”.
With no action from the Trump administration to reverse the increase as negotiations moved into a second day, U.S. Customs and Border Protection imposed the new 25% duty on affected U.S.-bound cargoes leaving China after 12:01 a.m. EDT (0401 GMT) on Friday.
Goods in the more than 5,700 affected product categories that left Chinese ports and airports before midnight will be subject to the original 10% duty rate, a CBP spokeswoman said.
The grace period was not applied to three previous rounds of tariffs imposed last year on Chinese goods, which had much longer notice periods of at least three weeks before the duties took effect.