President Donald Trump has announced a new 10 percent tariff on $300 billion in Chinese imports. These tariffs will go into effect on Sept. 1.
Last year, the U.S. imported $540 billion worth of goods from China. Roughly $250 billion have already been hit with tariffs.
What’s the background?
For nearly a year-and-a-half, China and the U.S. have been locked in an ongoing trade dispute, with each country slapping escalating retaliatory tariffs on each other.
Trump threatened last July that he was “ready” to slap tariffs on all imports from China.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer traveled to China to meet with Chinese officials and try to make a trade deal. These tariffs have cost U.S. farmers billions in lost trade, with sales of sorghum and soybeans from the U.S. to the lucrative Chinese market all but drying up. Since the tariffs started, the federal government has offered farmers nearly $30 billion in emergency aid to these farmers.
On Wednesday, the White House issued a news release calling the meetings with China “constructive” and said that it expected “negotiations on an enforceable trade deal to continue in Washington, D.C., in early September.”
What did Trump say now?
In a series of four tweets, Trump said that the United States “thought we had a deal with China three months ago, but sadly, China decided to renegotiate the deal prior to signing.”
More recently, China agreed to buy agricultural products from the U.S. in large quantities, but did not do so. Additionally, my friend President Xi said that he would stop the sale of Fentanyl to the United States — this never happened, and many Americans continue to die!
Trump said that starting Sept. 1, “putting a small additional Tariff of 10% on the remaining 300 Billion Dollars of goods and products coming from China into our Country. This does not include the 250 Billion Dollars already Tariffs at 25%.”