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US slams hefty new tariffs on China as NATO summit begins

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Asian markets dipped as US President Donald Trump raised the pressure on Beijing in a trade war over its intellectual property practices by publishing a list of an additional $US200 billion worth of Chinese goods he plans to hit with a 10% tariff.

The US was expected to impose new tariffs targeting around $US16b in Chinese goods this week, and China had been expected to respond with similar duties. Beijing has not yet responded, because it doesn’t import enough from the US to match the $US200b figure.

The new round of tariffs targets more than 6000 trade lines including a wide range of low-end manufactured products from handbags, textiles, tires, leather goods, ski gloves to refrigerators to TVs. Also, on the list were farm products, seafood, building supplies and certain types of electronics.

In China, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index dropped 2% while the Shanghai Composite fell 1.8%. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index shed 1.7%.

Beijing's Commerce Ministry called the new tariff list "totally unacceptable" and says China would impose countermeasures and file a lawsuit at the World Trade Organisation. The Chinese foreign ministry said Washington’s threats were “typical bullying” and described the dispute as a “fight between unilateralism and multilateralism”.

"China is shocked by the US move and the Chinese government, as always, will have to react to defend the core interests of our nation and people," the Commerce Ministry says.

House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady urged Mr Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping "to meet soon face-to-face to craft a solution to establish a fair and lasting trade relationship between our two countries."

Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch also expressed alarm.

"Although I have supported the administration's targeted efforts to combat China's technology transfer........

© The National Business Review