China trade talks end with no breakthrough as tariffs kick in

U.S. President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping

That figure would be far more than China imports from the United States, raising concerns that Beijing could consider other forms of retaliation, such as making life more hard for American firms in China or allowing its yuan currency to weaken further to support its exporters.

China denies the allegations and its state media has said Beijing will not be cowed by Washington's threats.

Thousands of American and Chinese products became 25 percent more expensive overnight, but talks are underway Thursday to try to avert more economic damage from President Donald Trump's multifront trade confrontations.

Trump, who has threatened to target all $500 billion in goods the US imports from China, has made that same point, noting that Beijing can not continue to retaliate in kind since it imports less than $200 billion a year in American goods.

Washington is holding hearings this week on a proposed list of an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese imports to face duties.

Wall Street fell overnight as trade-sensitive stocks were sunk by a new round of tariffs in the escalating trade dispute between China and the United States.

U.S. Treasury officials have been working on a revised list of American demands in the lead-up to this week's meetings, according to people familiar with the U.S. preparations.

A California vineyard which could be seriously affected if the trade war between the United States and China deepens.

Trump started his trade war with China in March by imposing higher tariffs, after saying an investigation had found that China is using foreign ownership restrictions to require tech transfers from USA to Chinese companies, as well as conducting espionage to acquire intellectual property.

The 25 percent increases took effect as envoys from both sides held their first high-level talks in two months in Washington.

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

"As U.S. President Donald Trump said in his book on making deals, 'the point is that you can't be too greedy.' The two sides would hence be advisable to define their top concerns in this round of talks and outline a roadmap, in a bid to find a way out of the current impasse and toward the final settlement of the issues".

Some commentators also struck a note of caution for China in taking tit-for-tat approach.

China's commerce ministry has said that it firmly opposes and reserves its right to retaliate to the latest batch of United States tariffs that went into effect on Thursday and targeted another $16bn worth of imports from the Asian country.

"China firmly opposes it and has to once again take necessary counter-measures", it said.

The day before, however, Trump told Reuters that there's "no time frame" for ending the trade dispute, and that he doesn't "anticipate much" from the trade negotiations in Washington.

China has responded dollar-for-dollar on hundreds of US products, putting the total value of affected goods at US$100 billion, one-seventh of total annual US-China trade.

"I think the fact that they would send lower level folks suggests that they're not talking about the big things", former Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez said Thursday on CNBC.

"The gulf between the Trump administration and the Chinese is as wide as the Pacific, and it looks like it's getting wider".

China's list of 333 USA product categories hit with duties includes coal, copper scrap, fuel, steel products, buses and medical equipment.

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