Trade Tariffs Escalate Between China and the U.S.

The tariffs between China and the U.S. have escalated in the past 24 hours, with the U.S. declaring that it intends to hit 1,300 more Chinese products with 25 percent tariffs. Hours later, China retaliated, announcing plans to impose 25-percent tariffs on 106 U.S. exports, worth $50 billion annually.

China’s proposed tariffs on U.S. goods include soy beans, automobiles, orange juice and whiskey. The U.S.-proposed tariffs on Chinese goods include televisions and motorcycles.

The White House has said that the proposed tariffs are in response to an investigation into alleged intellectual property infringement by the Chinese.

The latest tit-for-tat tariffs come days after the Chinese government announced $3 billion in tariffs on U.S. goods, including pork and steel pipes, which came after the U.S. imposed tariffs of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum imports from all countries. That list of countries has since been narrowed, but still includes China.

The Aluminum Extruders Council (AEC) urged President Trump to target China specifically.

“We believe the president should focus on China, and we’re unconvinced that these tariffs do a sufficient job,” said AEC president Jeff Henderson after the initial aluminum and steel tariff was imposed. “As far as curtainwall, storefront and doors and windows, I think we’ll be putting companies at a disadvantage by denying them access to global prices of aluminum.”

It is unclear when the newly proposed tariffs would take effect, but the Chinese Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao said in a news conference, “It is time for the U.S. administration to change sides back to the right track, keep real dialogue with the Chinese side. We hope that we can work together.”

There has been no indication that the U.S. government will back down. The president tweeted this morning, “We are not in a trade war with China, that war was lost many years ago by the foolish, or incompetent, people who represented the U.S. Now we have a Trade Deficit of $500 Billion a year, with Intellectual Property Theft of another $300 Billion. We cannot let this continue!”

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