The potential trade war between the United States and China is escalating; President Donald Trump announced today a decision to impose a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods.
The move, which comes after months of threats between two of the world’s leading economies, will affect Chinese products “containing industrially significant technologies” such as aerospace, information technology, robotics, machinery and automobiles, according to a report published by the United States Trade Representative.
The list includes two sets of tariffs, with the first containing more than 800 of the original 1,300 included on a proposed list published in April. U.S. Customs and Border Protection will begin collecting tariffs on the first $34 billion worth of Chinese imports on July 6. The second set — composed of nearly 300 lines that cover $16 billion worth of imports — is still under review.
In a separate statement, Trump described the current trade situation between the two countries as “no longer sustainable.”
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“My great friendship with President Xi of China and our country’s relationship with China are both very important to me. Trade between our nations, however, has been very unfair for a very long time,” he said. “China has, for example, long been engaging in several unfair practices related to the acquisition of American intellectual property and technology.”
In response, the Chinese government has pledged its own set of tariffs, listing U.S. products from aircraft material to whiskey among the affected goods and issuing a statement that accused the U.S. of provoking a trade war. “If the U.S. takes unilateral and protectionist measures that harm Chinese interests, we will respond immediately by taking the necessary decisions to safeguard our legitimate rights and interests,” said Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang.
The dispute comes just two weeks after the Trump administration hit allies Canada, Mexico and the European Union with taxes on steel and aluminum imports.
Trump Administration Imposes Tariffs, Giving Rise to Global Trade War