United States considers increasing planned tariffs on $270b in Chinese imports

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"If we're going to use tariffs, this gives us more flexibility and it's a more meaningful threat", he said, adding that Trump's pressure strategy will not work if he does not resolve trade disputes with USA allies such as the European Union, Mexico and Canada.

President Donald Trump said that if China is not willing to reach an acceptable trade deal, he is prepared to slap tariffs on all Chinese imports to the US, which amounted to $505.5 billion past year alone.

"We said before that this round of tariffs amounted to doubling down on the recklessness of imposing trade policy that will hurt USA families and workers more than they will hurt China", said Matthew Shay, president of the National Retail Federation. Announcing a higher tariff is required ahead of the hearings and will send a signal that the Trump administration is upping the pressure on China to make serious concessions.

In July, the Trump administration introduced 25-percent tariffs on Chinese goods worth $34 billion.

Officials say there will be a comment period for businesses and people affected by the tariffs.

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Mr Trump has ultimately threatened tariffs on more than $US500bn in Chinese goods, covering virtually all U.S. imports from China.

The tariffs target thousands of Chinese imports, including food products, chemicals, steel and aluminum and consumer goods ranging from dog food, furniture and carpets to auto tires, bicycles, and baseball gloves and beauty products. At the same time, representatives of U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He are having private conversations as they look for ways to reengage in negotiations, according to people who spoke about the deliberations on condition of anonymity.

"Given the scope of the products covered, about half of all imports from China are facing tariffs, including consumer goods", Ennis told Reuters. The plan to more than double the tariff rate was first reported by Bloomberg News.

"If the United States takes further measures that escalate the situation, China will definitely fight back", said Geng Shuang a foreign ministry spokesman.

Investors fear an escalating trade war between Washington and Beijing could hit global growth, and prominent USA business groups have condemned Trump's aggressive tariffs. "The cost increases will be passed on to customers, so it will affect most Americans' pocketbooks".

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In addition to the tariffs now in place, the Trump administration has proposed an additional 10 percent tariff on an additional $200 billion worth of imports from China.

The U.S. Trade Representative's office initially had set a deadline for final public comments on the proposed 10 percent tariffs to be filed by August 30, with public hearings scheduled for August 20-23.

Trump has threatened to escalate the conflict even more by taxing virtually all of the $500 billion worth of goods China ships annually to the United States.

Chinese-made children's shoes bearing a Chinese map and USA flags on display for a sale at a shop in Beijing July 13.

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