Why All Americans Should Care About President Trump's Tariffs Against China

Emmett Rice
March 26, 2018

"Therefore, U.S. retailers and customers will be victims of the tariff plan", said Lin.

"No one wins in these tit-for-tat trade disputes, least of all the farmers and the consumers", said National Pork Producers Council President Jim Heimerl, a pig farmer from Johnstown, Ohio.

No one would talk on the record about the broader concerns of US business in trading with China.

In a retaliatory move, China unveiled plans yesterday to impose higher tariffs on Dollars 3 billion worth of American goods including pork and pipes in retaliation to USA tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from Beijing.

The sparring has cast a spotlight on hardware makers such as Apple, which assemble the majority of their products in China for export to other countries.

The list announced Friday was linked to Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs, but companies already were looking ahead to a battle over complaints Beijing steals or forces companies to hand over technology.

The trade measures that the USA and China have taken against each other could have a negative impact on the global economy, Moody's said on Friday.

In the longer-term, that could create uncertainties for countries and businesses, which need to plan years into the future to invest in infrastructure or new operations.

The Trump administration responded by telling China to immediately shave $100 billion off its record $375 billion trade surplus with the United States.

"The WTO exists for a reason".

WTO chief Roberto Azevedo on Friday encouraged countries to use the WTO to settle disputes.

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"Actions taken outside these collective processes greatly increase the risk of escalation in a confrontation that will have no winners, and which could quickly lead to a less stable trading system", said Roberto Azevedo.

US efforts to boost exports of technology-based goods, begun under Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, conflict with China's plan for state-led development of global competitors in fields from robotics to electric cars. China significantly increased its tariff rates on US ethanol in January 2017, which caused shipments to collapse. The threat of Chinese retaliation raised fears of a US-China trade war. "Imposing import restrictions and trade barriers will have unintended negative consequences on the US economy and our industry's global supply chains, likely causing discrimination against USA products and pricing out US exporters in the global marketplace".

A notice posted by China's Ministry of Commerce states that while the U.S.is imposing the steel and aluminum tariffs on the ground of national security, the government of China views the action as a safeguard measure.

Filiappaios warned that Trump is walking down a risky and counter-productive path by bypassing the processes of the WTO, of which it remains a member.

John Frisbie, president of the U.S.

The Chinese picked USA farm exports because they would affect the largest number of people and make Trump unpopular ahead of a midterm election.

Betty Wang, an economist at ANZ bank, said China's reaction is "relatively mild".

But while the US government's move on steel and aluminum weakens the WTO, its complaint against China's technology-poaching suggests it may yet rely on the body when convenient.

That also happens to be around the deadline date for a new NAFTA in 2018: Beyond May, any agreement would likely not have enough time to pass a ratification vote before there's a new Mexican president and new U.S. Congress in 2019.

"When you start hurting this big segment of the economy from the people that gave him a lot of support in the election, I think it's going to hurt him".

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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