Beijing to detail trade war stand after calling off USA talks

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

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

Beijing and Washington are locked in a festering trade war with both sides hitting each other's goods with tariffs worth billions.

With no settlement in sight, forecasters say the conflict between the two biggest economies could trim global growth through 2020.

The General Administration of Customs said it started collecting additional taxes of 5 and 10 percent on a $60 billion list of 5,207 American goods from honey to industrial chemicals at noon.

Among the US items expected to be hardest hit, according to an analysis from the Trade News Centre, are printed circuit boards, desktop computers, computer parts and metal and wooden furniture.

Another set of tit-for-tat tariffs imposed by the United States and China on each other's goods took effect Monday.

The four-page section in Sunday's Des Moines Register, which carried the label "paid for and prepared exclusively by China Daily, an official publication of the People's Republic of China", featured such articles as one outlining how the trade dispute is forcing Chinese importers to turn to South America instead of the United States for soybeans.

China has scrapped trade talks with the United States days before President Donald Trump is set to escalate the commercial battle with a new round of tariffs, according to a person familiar with the discussion.

Earlier this week, the USA slapped an additional 10 per cent import duties on $200 billion worth of Chinese products, warning Beijing of fresh taxes on another $267 billion in Chinese imports.

"We're going to get an outcome which forces China to behave in a way that if you want to be a power - a global power - transparency, rule of law, you don't steal intellectual property".

Previous talks in late August led to little progress.

"Should the escalation go further, the economic costs for both countries and around the world will quickly add up", International Monetary Fund spokesman Gerry Rice said last week.

"Protectionist US trade policies have now reached the point where they are materially affecting what remains a strong global growth outlook", the agency said in a report Friday. The company said prices for items ranging from food to vehicle seats to luggage to gas grills and Christmas lights, could increase in price by anywhere between 10 percent to 25 percent.

The Chinese government has not made any announcement yet.

However, following complaints from thousands of United States firms - including powerhouses like Apple and Walmart - 300 product lines were dropped from the target list. That comes just weeks after tech giant Apple unveiled its new product line, which includes an updated smartwatch that has drummed up consumer interest.

Walmart, one of the country's largest retailers, wrote in a letter earlier this month to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer that the new tariffs could result in higher consumer prices at its stores.

China outlined a matching bump in tariff rates for its targeted $60 billion of U.S. goods, but it is running out of options to even the score on Trump's threatened third wave of tariffs.

The spiraling trade fight adds to the growing areas of friction between the rival powers.

The two are also at odds over Beijing's wooing of Taiwan's diplomatic allies, treatment of religious groups and claims to disputed islands in the South China Sea.

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