U.S. increases tariffs on Chinese goods but White House says talks will continue Friday

By Camilo Montoya-Galvez

/ CBS News

At President Trump's direction, the U.S. increased tariffs from 10 percent to 25 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, escalating a prolonged trade feud between the world's largest economies. The tariff hike, which went into effect Friday, was announced by Mr. Trump earlier in the week after he accused China's trade representatives of backtracking on a potential agreement.

The White House said late Thursday talks would continue Friday despite that the tariffs went into effect at midnight. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer had a working dinner Thursday with Vice Premier Liu He.

Negotiations between the two economic giants entered a pivotal moment Thursday, as U.S. officials, Mnuchin and Lighthizer, met with He to try to broker a deal — which has proved elusive for months.

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With the new move, the White House is raising tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports from 10 percent to 25 percent. Taken together, the tariffs — levies paid by consumers and companies, not China — could cost an average family of four $767 a year, according to a study from the economic research group Trade Partnership.

Beijing has already signaled it will likely take retaliatory actions, with a Commerce Ministry spokesperson warning that Thursday that "China will have to take necessary countermeasures" if the Trump administration imposed new tariffs.

On Thursday, Mr. Trump said he received a "beautiful letter" from Chinese President Xi Jinping, but again criticized Beijing officials for attempting to "renegotiate" a tentative agreement.

"We were getting very close to a deal and then they started to renegotiate the deal," he told reporters at the White House. "We can't have that."

Rachel Layne contributed to this report.

First published on May 10, 2019 / 12:04 AM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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