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US sets date for additional $16bn in tariffs on China products

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Media captionWhy the US-China trade war will hit most of our pockets

The US has said it will impose further tariffs on Chinese goods starting 23 August, as a trade war between the world's two biggest economies continues.

The top US trade body said the 25% import taxes would apply to about $16bn (£12b.3bn) of annual imports.

The duties are part of a broader round of US tariffs on $50bn worth of goods announced in March.

The US says the tariffs are to penalise China for "unfair" trade practices.

Such practices include rules compelling companies in certain sectors to take on local partners if they want to do business in China.

A first tranche of tariffs, on $34bn worth of goods, went into effect in July.

The additional list of 279 product lines to be hit later this month was announced by the United States Trade Representative (USTR) on Tuesday.

The products include semiconductors, chemicals and machinery parts.

Talks between China and the US have failed to produce an agreement on the issue, prompting China to retaliate with tariffs of its own and US President Donald Trump to escalate his threats.

The US is now considering tariffs on another $200bn in goods, including consumer products that were spared in the initial round.

Mr Trump has said he would be willing to slap duties on all goods imported from China.

US industries hit back at Trump

Several industry bodies in the US representing agribusiness, retail and technology have said the Trump administration's tariffs are hurting them and will cause long-term damage to farmers, manufacturers and consumers.

The US Seminconductor Industry Association (SIA), which represents manufacturers and designers like Intel, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments, said on Tuesday it was "disappointed and puzzled" their products were on the final list of 279 product lines.

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Image caption Farmers for Free Trade says the trade spat is costing billions of dollars to an already-stressed food and agricultural sector in the US

It said a combined total of $6.3bn worth of semiconductors and related products would now be hit by tariffs.

"We have made the case to the [Trump] administration, in the strongest possible terms, that tariffs imposed on semiconductors imported from China will hurt America's chipmakers, not China's, and will do nothing to stop China's problematic and discriminatory trade practices," SIA's chief executive John Neuffer said.

"We will continue to make this case and remain hopeful a sensible solution can be achieved that protects the interests of American businesses and consumers."

Farmers for Free Trade in the US (FFF) has said American farmers are already seeing market disruption, and that the trade disputes "could cost billions of dollars to the already-stressed food and agricultural sector in the US".

"The White House is escalating the trade war while telling farmers to be patient as their prices plummet and their markets are overtaken by foreign competitors," said FFF's executive director Brian Kueh in a written response to the USTR's Tuesday announcement.

"Members of Congress from both parties are hearing from Americans that are angry about tariffs while they are back in their states and districts," he said.

"It's time to end the trade war before tariffs cause any more economic pain for America's heartland."

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