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Retailers Howl as US Trade Department Fixes 15% Tariffs On September 1

The Trump government Wednesday made official its further 5% levy on $300 billion on imports from China and set collection dates of Sept. 1 and Dec. 15, prompting thousands of U.S. retail, footwear, toy, and tech firms to warn of price hikes.

The U.S. Trade Representative’s office noted in an official notice that collections of a 15% duty will start at 12:01 a.m. EDT (0401 GMT) Sunday on the part of the list comprising more than $125 billion of targeted products from China.

This preliminary tranche consists of smartwatches, Bluetooth headphones, flat-panel televisions, and many forms of footwear.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is also set to charge a 15% duty on Dec. 15 on the remainder of the $300 billion list, along with cellphones, laptop computer, computer systems, toys and clothing, USTR wrote in the Federal Register filing.

U.S. President Donald Trump declared the hike to 15% from 10% last Friday on Twitter, intensifying the bitter U.S. China trade battle after Beijing hit back with retaliatory duties on $75 billion worth of U.S. items, including crude oil.

USTR spokesperson said on Wednesday that the company would issue a separate Federal Register notice with particulars of Trump’s planned tariff hike to 30% on $250 billion in goods that have already been hit with a 25% duty, including procedures for collecting public feedback on the move.

While Trump in recent times has reversed his aggressive China trade discourse, that has not translated to a retreat from the planned tax hikes. It remains unclear if U.S. and Chinese mediators will resume face-to-face discussions in September as previously informed by U.S. officials.

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