November 28, 2018 / 10:58 PM / 16 days ago

Trump administration to examine tools to raise U.S. tariffs on Chinese autos

Newly manufactured cars are seen at the automobile terminal in the port of Dalian, Liaoning province, China October 18, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said on Wednesday that he was examining all available tools to raise U.S. tariffs on Chinese vehicles to the 40 percent duties that China is now charging on U.S.-produced vehicles.

Lighthizer said in a statement he was taking such action at the direction of President Donald Trump.

Auto tariffs on both sides have been increased amid a worsening trade war between the United States and China. The United States imposed a 25 percent tariff on Chinese vehicles on top of the 2.5 percent it normally charges. China had lowered tariffs for all other countries to 15 percent, but imposed an additional 25 percent retaliatory tariff on U.S. vehicles.

Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Peter Cooney

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