The US and China just imposed new tariffs as trade tensions continue to escalate

(Thomas Peter – Pool / Getty Images)
  • The US and China both implemented tariffs on one another $US16 billion worth of each other’s goods.
  • The latest tit-for-tat escalation comes as representatives from both sides meet in Washington for further talks.
  • But the two are unlikely to come to an agreement, and reports suggests US President Trump remains committed to a trade war.

The US has fired its latest trade salvo at China, implementing a 25% tariff on another $US16 billion worth of Chinese goods.

China immediately responded in kind with an equivalent tariff of its own against US exports.

The latest tit-for-tat escalation was initiated this afternoon in Asian trade (12:01am US time), when the U.S. Customs and Border Protection confirmed on its website that tariffs would go into effect on another 279 Chinese product categories.

China’s state-run news agencies said the Chinese tariffs went into effect at 12:01pm Beijing time, as scheduled, according to Reuters.

Chinese stocks have fluctuated throughout the day, and fell into negative territory after the lunchbreak before rallying.

The tariffs have gone into effect at the same time as trade talks between the two sides remain ongoing in Washington.

The talks are considered to be mid-level in nature, which may lead to further dialogue later in the year. However, US President Donald Trump said he wasn’t expecting much from this week’s negotiations.

In a statement today, China’s Commerce Ministry said the latest tariffs were evidence that the US was “remaining obstinate”.

“China resolutely opposes this, and will continue to take necessary countermeasures,” the Ministry said.

China also said it will file a complaint with the World Trade Organisation.

Also this week, US authorities continue to assess whether they will impose tariffs on an additional $US200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

If those tariffs are approve, more than 50% of all Chinese goods into the US will then be subject to import taxes.

Some analysts have speculated that if the US maintains its hardline stance, China may consider other measures such as placing restrictions on US subsidiary companies operating in China.

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