Trump’s trade war goes nuclear with new tariffs on $550 billion in Chinese goods
President Trump has berated China’s attempt to offset the trade war losses as ‘unfair’ and ‘politically motivated,’ as he announced a new major hike of current and future tariffs on $550 billion in Chinese goods today.
The 25 percent tariff is already in effect, and will become a 30 percent tariff starting on October 1. The $300 billion in imports set to be taxed at 10 percent starting on September 1 will now be taxed at 15 percent starting on the same date.
The US decision reverses a previous move to postpone applying tariffs on Chinese cell phones, laptops, computer monitors, toys, clothing, and electronics until December 15.
The latest salvo in the US-China trade war comes after China slapped tariffs on $75 billion in US goods, applying 5 or 10 percent duties to farm products including beef, pork, and soybeans, and targeting crude oil for the first time.
Markets fell precipitously on Friday in response to China’s announcement, with the Dow Jones plummeting 700 points before recovering slightly. Trump retaliated by threatening to cut off all trade with the country, inspiring further panic in the markets and asking his Twitter followers who was a “bigger enemy” to the United States – Chinese President Xi Jinping, or Fed chairman Jerome Powell?
While Trump has been quick to blame the trade war on China, he has played the aggressor throughout the conflict, labeling China a currency manipulator and even going against the wishes of US industry in his determination to cut off Chinese companies like Huawei from American markets. The US agriculture industry, already beset by catastrophic rainfall, flooding, and tornadoes over the past year, is staring at plummeting returns as China – one of its largest customers – looks further afield for farm products.