Washington/Beijing —  US President Donald Trump said on Thursday he was taking steps to authorise new tariffs on $325bn in Chinese imports as officials prepared for last-ditch talks to avert an escalation of a trade war that threatens to derail the global economy. With acrimony between Washington and Beijing increasing, there seemed to be little time to salvage what had appeared to be the framework of a tentative deal between the two sides before another round of punitive tariffs are triggered. The US is set to increase its existing tariffs on $200bn in Chinese goods to 25%  from 10% at 12.01am EDT (04:01 GMT) on Friday. Trump said on Thursday he was "starting the paperwork today" to impose a 25% tariff on the $325bn in Chinese goods untouched by the trade war so far.

China is expected to retaliate against such a move, as it has with previous US tariffs, effectively subjecting all trade between the world's two largest economies to punitive levies. Consumer products, including ...

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