U.S. Imposes Tariffs on $60bn Worth Chinese Products

President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump arrive in China | November 8, 2017 (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)
President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump arrive in China | November 8, 2017 (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

The U.S. President Donald Trump has announced to impose tariffs on $60bn worth Chinese products sparking the fears of a trade war.

The U.S. President announced to slap trade sanctions on China which include restrictions on Chinese investments.

Marking the end of a seven-month-long investigation about the Chinese tactics in challenging the U.S. in technology and hacking commercial secrets, President Trump announced the punitive measures.

The U.S. accuses China of demanding the U.S. companies of handing over business secrets in exchange for access to the Chinese market.

President Trump said the U.S. action to impose tariffs on Chinese products is a part of efforts to ensure fairness in business between the U.S. and China.

President Trump reminded of China imposing 25% tariff on U.S. cars while the U.S. imposes only 2.5% duty on Chinese cars.

U.S. President said, “They charge us, we charge the same thing.”

The office of the U.S. Trade Representative said the President has instructed that the “appropriate response to China’s harmful acts, policies, and practices” should include three separate actions:

Tariffs – The President has instructed the Trade Representative to publish a proposed list of products and any tariff increases within 15 days of today’s announcement.  After a period of notice and comment, the Trade Representative will publish a final list of products and tariff increases.

WTO dispute – The President has instructed the Trade Representative to pursue dispute settlement in the World Trade Organization (WTO) to address China’s discriminatory technology licensing practices.

Investment restrictions – The President has directed the Secretary of the Treasury to address concerns about investment in the United States directed or facilitated by China in industries or technologies deemed important to the United States.

In response to the U.S. actions, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman said Beijing would “take all legal measures to protect our interest” if the US took “actions that will harm both China and itself.”

The White House aide Peter Navarro told reporters that the U.S. is “strategically defending itself from economic aggression.”

Peter Navarro added: “Administrations before us and this administration have tried to work with the Chinese but with the Chinese talk is not cheap, it’s very expensive. Finally, the president decided we needed to move forward.”

The Trump administration earlier announced to impose tariffs of 25% on steel and 1o% on aluminum particularly aiming at China because most of the U.S. allies including Canada, Mexico, and Europe has been exempted for now.

The U.S. move to impose new tariffs on Chinese product, however, heightened the fears of a trade war. A group of industries told the president that “the imposition of sweeping tariffs would trigger a chain reaction of negative consequences for the US economy, provoking retaliation; stifling US agriculture, goods, and services exports; and raising costs for businesses and consumers.”

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