On Tuesday the Trump administration outlined tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods imports to the United States. The tariffs focused on drugs, metals, machinery, electronics, trains, ships, optics, medical equipment, and weapons and ammunition.
The following day, China outlined its own $50 billion worth of tariffs on American goods, mostly agricultural goods, tobacco products, vehicles, plastics and chemicals, and aircraft.
The Trump administration’s justification for the original $50 billion in tariffs was China’s unfair intellectual property practices. After China retaliated with tariffs, the President announced that there could be tariffs on an additional $100 billion worth of Chinese imports. President Trump and his administration feel that China’s retaliation was unfair given that the original American tariffs were a response to what they felt was an already unfair advantage taken by the Chinese.
Bob Davis at The Wall Street Journal explains the latest threat by the president:
WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump threatened a major escalation in trade tensions with Beijing on Thursday, saying he was considering imposing tariffs on an additional $100 billion in imports from China.
The move would triple the amount of Chinese goods facing levies when entering the U.S., up from the tariffs on $50 billion in imports from China that the president announced last week.
Mr. Trump, who justified the tariffs on Chinese imports by citing alleged violations of U.S. intellectual property laws, said Thursday that an escalation would be due to Beijing’s “unfair retaliation,” which could “harm our farmers and manufacturers.”
Mr. Trump also said he would instruct the Agriculture Secretary to put together a plan “to protect our farmers and agricultural interests,” but he provided no details.
After the U.S. threatened tariffs on Tuesday, China quickly came up with its own $50 billion hit list of U.S. exports to China, including aircraft and soybeans. That retaliation has led to outcries from agricultural interests and lawmakers, which has put pressure on Washington to back off its hard-line stance to China.
In response to the possible new U.S. tariffs, China’s Commerce Ministry said Beijing would respond with its own countermeasures should it come to that. “The Chinese side will follow suit to the end, not hesitate to pay any price, resolutely counterattack and take new comprehensive measures in response,” a ministry statement said citing an unnamed spokesman.
Read more here.