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Trump administration moves ahead with new round of tariffs on Chinese imports

The Trump administration has finalized a new round of 25 percent tariffs on an additional $16 billion in Chinese imports. The tariffs go into effect on Aug. 23. 

The new tariffs, the latest in the ongoing trade spat between U.S. and China, target industrial supplies, chemicals, motorcycles, tractors and tractor parts, rail cars, auto parts, some iron and steel, motor and machine components and more. The finalized list of goods affected includes 279 items. 

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative says the tariffs are in response to China's "unfair trade practices related to the forced transfer of American technology and intellectual property."

Tuesday's announcement was not a surprise. In April, the administration had announced plans to slap tariffs on 1,333 Chinese product lines worth $50 billion a year. After receiving public feedback, it cut 515 products from the list in June and added 284. On July 6, the U.S. began taxing the 818 goods, worth $34 billion, remaining from the April list.

In the meantime, it sought public comment on the new items. On Tuesday, the administration said it had decided to go ahead with tariffs on 279 of the 284 items added in June; they're worth about $16 billion a year.

China has been retaliating in kind.

And the conflict is likely to escalate: The administration is preparing tariffs of up to 25 percent on an additional $200 billion in Chinese products. And Mr. Trump has threatened to impose tariffs on virtually everything China sells to the United States. Chinese imports of goods and services into the United States last year amounted to nearly $524 billion.

The world's two biggest economies are locked in a trade dispute over Washington's charges that China uses predatory tactics in a drive to supplant U.S. technological supremacy. The alleged tactics include cyber-theft and a requirement that American companies hand over trade secrets in exchange for access to the Chinese market.

Mr. Trump has continued to portray tariffs on foreign imports as good for the country, even as many Republicans and traditionally right-of-center groups preach their ills.