Well, here we go.
China’s finance ministry announced earlier Sunday that in retaliation for Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs on Chinese goods, they’ll be leveling tariffs of their own, due to begin on Monday.
China’s Customs Tariff Commission is increasing the tariff rate on eight imported U.S. products, including pork, by 25 percent. It’s also imposing a new 15 percent tariff on 120 imported U.S. commodities, including fruits.
The tariffs mirror Mr. Trump’s 25 percent charge on imported steel and 15 percent hike on aluminum. Mr. Trump’s tariffs are partly a response to complaints that Beijing steals or pressures foreign companies to hand over technology.
So pork and fruit.
It sounds small, but to farmers and those small businesses that may depend on exporting their goods outside of the U.S., they’ll soon feel this pinch.
White House trade adviser Peter Navarro explained in a recent conference call with reporters that the tariffs are targeting what they feel is market distortion and discriminatory practices by China, regarding unfair technology transfers and theft of American intellectual properties.
Trump was warned that beginning a trade war would harm our economy. Gary Cohn, who previously served as his top economic adviser resigned when it became clear that the president only kept advisers around as a cheering squad.
Following his original tariff roll out, the president then signed a memorandum late last month directing the U.S. Trade Representative to impose an estimated $50 billion in tariffs on China.
“We have spoken to China and we are in the midst of a very large negotiation,” Mr. Trump said at a signing ceremony. “We will see where it takes us. In the meantime, we are sending a Section 301 action.”
Trump has said he would like to see the U.S. trade deficit with China reduced by $100 billion.