Donald Trump escalates his trade war with China, announcing tariffs on an additional $200 billion of goods.
In a statement released late Monday, also said he was prepared to “immediately” place duties on another $267 billion of imports “if China takes retaliatory action against our farmers or other industries”.
The new duties will take effect on Monday, beginning at 10% and rising to 25% on January 1.
Trump had already ordered levies on $50 billion of Beijing’s products earlier this year. Monday’s steps mean almost half of all Chinese imports will soon be subject to tariffs.
For months, we have urged China to change…unfair practices, and give fair and reciprocal treatment to American companies. We have been very clear about the type of changes that need to be made, and we have given China every opportunity to treat us more fairly. But so far China has been unwilling to change its practices.
White House officials said the tariffs can be eased if China gives in to the Administration’s trade demands, including greater access by US companies to the Chinese market and an end to Beijing’s requirement that American firms hand over valuable technology to Chinese partners. They said trade negotiations will only continue if the Chinese are “serious” about conceding.
US retailers, manufacturers, and many US businesses have already warned that tariffs will hurt profits, hiring, and growth. The new duties are likely to raise costs of imported components further, resulting in increased prices for American consumers.
Economists estimate that the earlier tariffs will reduce US growth by 0.1%, with another 0.1% decline from the new measures. The fall could be exacerbated if China retaliates.
But Trump set aside all the studies as he said Monday, “It will be a lot of money coming into the coffers of the United States of America. A lot of money coming in.”
China has had many opportunities to fully address our concerns. Hopefully, this trade situation will be resolved, in the end, by myself and President Xi of China, for whom I have great respect and affection.
But trade analysts said Beijing is likely to respond firmly, having already imposed retaliatory duties in response to the initial Trump tariffs.
Lou Jiwei, China’s former Finance Minister and a senior Communist Party member, delivered an unexpectedly strong warning recently in a forum organized by a Government agency.
Lou said that, if necessary, China can halt exports of components that are crucial to the supply chains of US companies. He said it will take years for American firms to find alternatives:
To take a step back, the United States can establish an alternative supply chain in a third country, but it takes time — what about the pain of three to five years? This is enough to cross a political cycle.