President Trump announced late yesterday that the United States is going to impose a 10 percent tariff on $300 billion of Chinese goods starting September 1. The announcement comes after “constructive” trade talks between the U.S. and China took place in Shanghai this week, per CNBC.
In his tweets, President Trump explained that though he and his team believed that the two countries had an established trade agreement “months ago,” China allegedly reneged on the terms. Some examples given by Mr. Trump include the fact that China did not purchase American agricultural products as promised nor did China stop the sale of fentanyl to the United States.
The former has been a huge source of contention for the president, as it is one the United States’ biggest industries. However, the latter is likely important for Trump as well, as fentanyl is helping spur the tragic opioid crisis in the United States. In addition to costing the government billions, the crisis has also hit hard the states that Trump hopes to win in the upcoming 2020 presidential election.
“Trade talks are continuing, and during the talks the U.S. will start, on September 1st, putting a small additional Tariff of 10% on the remaining 300 Billion Dollars of goods and products coming from China into our Country,” wrote Trump in a tweet.
“We look forward to continuing our positive dialogue with China on a comprehensive Trade Deal, and feel that the future between our two countries will be a very bright one,” he added.
The announcement came as a surprise for analysts and happened shortly after the two powerhouse countries had a number of “constructive” trade discussions in Shanghai. They were the first meetings to take place between the U.S. and China since the G20 summit. A White House statement added that negotiations will continue through September in Washington.
Meanwhile, stocks tumbled in light of the announcement.
This was not the first time that Trump had imposed tariffs on the Middle Kingdom in the series of trade wars between the two countries. In May, the former businessman stunned policymakers by raising tariffs on over $200 billion in Chinese goods to a whopping 25 percent.
Meanwhile, China’s spokesperson at the foreign ministry, Hua Chunying, said at a daily press briefing that Beijing would have to take countermeasures in light of Trump’s new decision.
However, Trump seemed to double down on his decision at a campaign rally in Cincinnati.
“Until such time as there is a deal, we will be taxing the h*ll out of China,” Trump told the crowd (via Fox Business).