Donald Trump says tariffs 'working big time'

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USA president Donald Trump on Saturday defended his controversial use of tariffs against China and other countries, saying the trade measures are "working far better than anyone ever anticipated".

China's finance ministry unveiled new sets of additional tariffs on 5,207 goods imported from the United States, ranging from 5 to 25 per cent.

Chinese state media launched a blistering personal attack at President Trump, claiming his trade policies amounted to "extortion", according to a report on Monday.

The Trump administration ratcheted up pressure for trade concessions from Beijing this week by proposing a higher 25 per cent tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports.

China plans to impose a 25% tariff on imports of US-manufactured solar cells - but the world's biggest manufacture of solar cells now imports few of the cells used to make panels that generate power.

The Trump administration has imposed tariffs on $34 billion of annual trade with China, with $16 billion more due to be implemented in coming days.

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China proposed a 25% tariff on imports of copper ore and concentrate from the USA, which shipped about 70 000 tons to the country past year.

"The U.S. has repeatedly resorted to threatening and deceitful routines, trying to force China to compromise, both overestimating its own bargaining power and underestimating China's determination and ability to defend its national dignity and the interests of its people", said a commentary in the official Xinhua news agency.

Among US products targeted were a wide range of agricultural and energy products such as beef and LNG.

The market is not large by value compared with the around $16 billion per year of U.S. crude that arrives in the country, but those levels could shoot up as Beijing forges ahead with its plan to switch millions ofhouseholds to the fuel away from coal as part of its battle against smog.

The yuan has also declined recently, threatening to take some of the bite out of tariffs by making imports cheaper, though the central bank took measures on Friday to stop it from further falling. "Any talks in the future, should they happen, should be conducted on an equal and faithful basis". Last year, China imported some £100bn ($130bn) in goods from the United States. He told trade officials this week to consider raising that to 25 percent. That was the first increase in four months and the quickest uptick since November 2016.

Michael Pillsbury, director of the Centre for Chinese Strategy at the Hudson Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington, said at an event in Beijing on Monday that despite the dispute between the U.S. and China, the relationship between Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping was strong. On Friday, the Ministry of Commerce described its planned response: four different types of tariffs on $60 billion of us goods. So far this year, the trade gap is up more than 7 percent from January-June 2017. The government reported last Friday that trade contributed 1.06 per centage points to the economy's 4.1 per cent annualised growth pace in the second quarter.

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