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China firms stop purchases of US farm produce: state media

[BEIJING] Chinese firms have stopped buying US farm produce, state media said on Tuesday, following US President Donald Trump's vow to put more tariffs on imports from China.

China "would temporarily not rule out the possibility of levying additional tariffs on imported US farm produce with deals made after August 3, and related Chinese companies have halted purchases of US farm produce," the official Xinhua news agency quoted the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Commerce as saying.

Xinhua gave no more details.

The report came after the Chinese yuan fell to its lowest level against the dollar since August 2010 on Monday morning, fuelling speculation that Beijing is allowing currency depreciation to counter threatened US tariffs.

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Mr Trump last year imposed tariffs because of complaints over Chinese trade practices, sparking a trade war leading to duties on hundreds of billions worth of two-way trade between the world's two largest economies.

Mr Trump jolted global markets last week when he announced more tariffs just a day after US and Chinese trade negotiators revived talks aimed at ending the year-long trade dispute.

The extra 10 per cent duties Mr Trump plans to implement from September 1 would mean he has now targeted virtually all of the roughly US$550 billion in goods America buys from China every year.