Donald Trump’s trade war with China is heating up as Beijing imposed tariffs of its own on U.S. imports into the country, following similar tariffs Trump announced on Chinese goods entering the U.S. last month, CNNMoney is reporting. Further, the impending trade crisis shook Wall Street in early trading on Monday morning.
Last month, the Trump administration, seemingly out of nowhere, announced tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, as CNN Money reported at the time. At the time, the 45th president claimed that the 10 percent tariffs on aluminum imports, and 25 percent tariffs on steel imports, would help boost American manufacturing. It was also hoped that the move would prevent so-called “dumping” — that is, importing cheap, excess steel into the global market, an economic tactic favored by China.
Economists weren’t so sure, however, that the tariffs were the right move for the U.S. economy. CNN Money writer Julia Horowitz wrote that the tariffs could theoretically give American manufacturing a short-term boost, in the long run America’s manufacturing system wouldn’t be able to keep up with demand and, ultimately, consumers would see higher prices.
The move also raised fears that China would impose tariffs of its own, escalating a trade war in which neither of the world’s two biggest economies would win, and which both would likely lose.
China just hit back at President Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum. The country placed tariffs on pork and 127 other U.S. goods. https://t.co/Baft1viXNn
— The New York Times (@nytimes) April 2, 2018
And in fact, on Monday China did indeed impose tariffs on American goods. Specifically, Beijing imposed new sanctions on 128 US products, or about $3 billion worth. Those include 15 percent tariffs on 120 American products — including such things as fruits, nuts, wine, and steel pipes — and 25 percent on eight other products, including pork and recycled aluminum.
In the larger scheme of things, such things are trifling considering the vast amount of trade between the two countries, and in fact will amount to only a small fraction of the goods traded between the two economic superpowers. But in the industries affected by the trades, the outlook isn’t good.
The US National Pork Producers Council, for example, has already warned that pork tariffs on imports from China would harm the American pork industry and “have a significant negative impact on rural America.”
Meanwhile, Trump is pushing for more and bigger sanctions against Chinese imports. Specifically, he has his sights on $50 billion worth of goods coming from the Chinese aerospace, technology, and machinery industries. Trump says those tariffs will be enacted in response to the theft of intellectual property from American companies.