The U.S. and China imposed fresh tariffs on each other’s goods in the middle of trade talks aimed at averting the worsening conflict between the world’s two biggest economies.

Both nations started levying the previously announced taxes on $16 billion of imports from the other country shortly after noon Beijing time. China also said it would lodge a complaint about the new American tariffs to the World Trade Organization, according to a Chinese Ministry of Commerce statement on its website. The U.S. will collect an additional 25 percent in duties on Chinese imports ranging from motorcycles to steam turbines and railway cars, and the Chinese retaliation will see a similarly sized tax on items including coal, medical instruments, waste products, cars and buses, according to Bloomberg.com

“US trade tensions with China are more likely to worsen this year, weighing on global growth in 2019,” according to a research report from analysts at Moody’s Investors Service. “Most of the impact of the trade restrictions on economic growth will be felt in 2019,” and any additional tariffs would be a “material downside scenario,” they wrote.

President Donald Trump himself has played down expectations in recent days. That, analysts say, is partly because Trump and China hawks in his administration are feeling increasingly emboldened since the two sides held talks in May and June.

“Here we are three months later and if anything during that time the hawk’s position has been consolidated because we drove over the cliff and discovered our car can fly with the U.S. economy still doing fairly well and President Trump still popular among Republicans,” said Scott Kennedy, an expert on U.S.-China relations at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

Source: Bloomberg.com

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