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US says China backtracked on commitments in trade deal: reports
[WASHINGTON] US officials on Monday accused China of backtracking on commitments in trade negotiations and confirmed tariffs on US$200 billion in Chinese goods will more than double to 25 per cent this week, according to US media reports.
US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said talks with China will resume on Thursday but accused Beijing of "reneging" on previous commitments made in the negotiations, according to the reports.
The sides have been locked in a year-long trade war that has hit US$360 billion in two-way trade, and the renewed tension sank global stock markets on Monday.
"Over the course of the last week or so, we've seen an erosion in commitments by China, I would say retreating from commitments that have already been made in our judgment," Mr Lighthizer was quoted as saying.
He said tariffs would increase as of 12.01am (0401 GMT) Friday.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the negotiations were 90 per cent complete but he told reporters that in recent days the talks went "substantially backward," according to the reports.
President Donald Trump lashed out on Sunday, vowing to ratchet up existing tariffs this week, and extended the 25 per cent punitive duties to the remaining US$350 billion in Chinese goods imported into the country each year.
"The Trade Deal with China continues but too slowly as they attempt to renegotiate. No!" Mr Trump wrote on Twitter.
Despite the threats, officials in Beijing had said earlier Monday the talks would continue this week.
Vice-Premier Liu He was expected to lead the delegation but the US officials said they had had no contact with him for the past 24 hours.