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US plans to keep $360 billion worth of China tariffs intact despite Phase-1 trade deal

ANI  |  US 

The Trump administration has no current plans to lift the tariffs worth about $370 billion, or nearly two-thirds of Chinese imports to the United States, despite an interim "phase one" trade agreement that is all set to be signed on Wednesday with an expectation of easing tensions between the two sides.

"There are no other oral or written agreements between the United States and China on these matters, and there is no agreement for future reduction in tariffs," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a joint statement quoted by Business Insider.

The taxes levied since 2018, have raised the price for items such as baseball hats, luggage, bicycles, TVs, sneakers, and a variety of materials used by American manufacturers, CNN reported.

US President Donald Trump had used the tariffs as a negotiating tactic, meant to hurt the Chinese economy and pressure Beijing to agree to a new trade deal that addresses unfair trade practices, such as intellectual property theft and forced technology transfers.

But the tariffs have hurt Americans, too. Trump has often argued that his tariffs are boosting the American manufacturing sector, but the industry is in a slump.

The tariffs have cut into US businesses' bottom lines, forcing owners to make decisions about job cuts and raising prices on consumers. Plus, the uncertainty around how long the tariffs will be in place and whether Trump will escalate the rate -- which he did last May with just days' notice -- deter businesses from making long-term investments, potentially costing the US growth.

China's economic growth slowed to its lowest level in nearly three decades last year, all thanks to the trade war with the US. Some American importers have shifted their supply chains, buying from manufacturers in other Asian countries in order to avoid paying the tariff.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, January 15 2020. 05:14 IST