Office of the United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer released a statement on Tuesday announcing another round of tariffs on Chinese imports.
These tariffs will be at 10 percent placed on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, the list can be found here, they include fruits, vegetables, electronic parts, such as LEDs for backlighting LCDs, and furniture. (pg 11-205 lists the items subject to the 10 percent proposed tariffs.)
The tariffs come in response to China’s retaliation against the U.S. for imposing tariffs at 25 percent on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports. Which eventually will be $50 billion worth of imports as legal processes conclude.
In his statement Lighthizer explains that for over a year the Trump Administration has been “patiently,” urging China to change their ways, but “Unfortunately, China has not changed its behavior – behavior that puts the future of the U.S. economy at risk. Rather than address our legitimate concerns, China has begun to retaliate against U.S. products. There is no justification for such action.”
These new tariffs will not go into effect until after the public comment period passes which is sometime after August 30th.
China’s Commerce Ministry said in a statement via, The Straits Times, that,”the Chinese government as always will have no choice but to take the necessary countermeasures,” he added that the latest tariff list published is, “totally unacceptable,” adding, “this type of irrational behavior is unpopular.”
The Straits Times is also reporting that the Chinese government “would tack on the case to its suit against the U.S. at the WTO.”
Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said via The New York Times, “Tonight’s announcement appears reckless and is not a targeted approach. We cannot turn a blind eye to China’s mercantilist trade practices, but this action falls short of a strategy that will give the administration negotiating leverage with China while maintaining the long-term health and prosperity of the American economy.”
Retail Industry Leaders Association, Vice President Hun Quach issued a statement, stating that American retailers and people have “barely had time to process the barrage of tariffs implemented last week.” Quach explains that President Trump has broken his promise to bring, “maximum pain on China, minimum pain on consumers.” Quach concludes, “The Administration cannot continue to move the goal post. Unless the Administration finds meaningful solutions, American businesses, families, and jobs are on the losing end of this battle.”
Businesses have already started to feel the impact of steel and aluminum tariffs as Harley Davidson shifts some production overseas, a Missouri Nail manufacture lays of workers, soybean farmers, and Maine fishermen, prepare for the worst, The Post and Courier reported on Monday that BMW will raise the price of South-Carolina built vehicles sold in China and will build more of its popular brand of SUVs overseas to help avoid the higher cost as result of tariffs. BMW employees 10,000 people, in Spartanburg County in South Carolina.
Why it Matters
Tariffs = taxes on consumers.
In a trade war everyone loses, there are no winners.