Trump announces tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods

President Donald Trump is sharply escalating a confrontation with China over trade.The United States will impo...

Posted: Jun 16, 2018 9:05 AM
Updated: Jun 16, 2018 9:05 AM

President Donald Trump is sharply escalating a confrontation with China over trade.

The United States will impose a 25% tariff on $50 billion of Chinese exports, the president said early Friday. China vowed to retaliate immediately and said the United States had "launched a trade war."

The US penalty is designed to punish China for stealing American technology and trade secrets. It will apply to roughly 1,100 exports and will target the Chinese aerospace, robotics, manufacturing and auto industries.

Trade between the two countries "has been very unfair, for a very long time," Trump said in a statement. "This situation is no longer sustainable."

US customs agents will begin collecting the duties on July 6, the administration said.

Related: Dow falls as trade fears intensify

The move represents a serious elevation of trade tensions between the world's two largest economies - just as Trump has also picked fights with allies Canada, Mexico and the European Union over steel and aluminum.

Beijing said Friday it will fight back with tariffs of its own. China previously outlined plans to respond with retaliatory tariffs on $50 billion of US products such as cars, planes and soybeans.

China also said it would scrap promises to purchase more US goods. Those pledges came during negotiations with US trade officials last month.

"In this day and age, launching a trade war is not in the interest of the world," China's Commerce Ministry said in a statement. "We call on all countries to act together to firmly stop such an outdated and backward move, and to firmly safeguard the common interest of all mankind."

Trump raised the prospect of even further escalation. He said that if China retaliated, the United States would authorize another round of tariffs on Chinese goods. He has previously suggested those tariffs could apply to as much as $100 billion of products.

Related: China is killing his business. Tariffs could make or break it

The US tariffs announced Friday will be enacted in two waves. More than 800 exports, about $34 billion worth, will be subject to tariffs starting in July. Another 280 or so still need to undergo a public comment period, and will take effect later.

American companies will be allowed to apply for an exemption from the tariff. The administration will outline the exemption process in coming weeks, a senior administration official told reporters.

The president gave the green light after a meeting Thursday with top economic officials, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

For months, Trump had slow-walked threats of tariffs against China as punishment for intellectual property theft.

He first announced that the United States would impose trade penalties on about $50 billion of Chinese goods in March.

"We have a tremendous intellectual property theft problem," Trump said at the time. "It's going to make us a much stronger, much richer nation."

After China warned it would retaliate, Trump threatened tariffs on a further $100 billion of Chinese products.

In mid-May, both sides announced a ceasefire after two rounds of trade negotiations.

The countries said in a joint statement that China would "significantly increase" purchases of US agricultural and energy products to reduce the trade imbalance, a top Trump administration demand. Mnuchin subsequently declared the trade war "on hold."

Ten days later, the White House abruptly said it would proceed with the tariffs, along with new limits on Chinese investments in the United States.

Related: IMF chief warns US about trade, deficits

A further round of trade talks in Beijing earlier this month failed to yield any breakthroughs. And the Chinese government warned then it wouldn't honor its pledge to increase purchases of US goods if tariffs were imposed.

The Trump administration last week cut a deal with Chinese telecommunications firm ZTE to end a crippling ban that prevented the company from buying American parts. ZTE's fate had become entwined in the trade talks. But the agreement to save the company has faced resistance from lawmakers in Congress, who argue the ban should stay in place because ZTE allegedly poses a security threat.

Trump's decision to move forward with tariffs on China follows his recent imposition of steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union on national security grounds.

Those penalties have been met with consternation by world leaders, and led to a fraught G7 meeting with Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom last weekend.

After the G7 summit, Trump sent out an angry pair of tweets in which he slammed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as "very dishonest & weak," and ordered US representatives not to sign a joint communique with the G7 leaders.

The European Union and Canada have said they will enact retaliatory tariffs starting in July. Mexico has already retaliated with its own tariffs on US goods.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 319704

Reported Deaths: 7369
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22276267
Hinds20677421
Harrison18407317
Rankin13880282
Jackson13689248
Madison10249224
Lee10056176
Jones8464167
Forrest7827153
Lauderdale7260242
Lowndes6509150
Lamar634888
Lafayette6310121
Washington5420137
Bolivar4837133
Panola4669110
Oktibbeha466098
Pearl River4604147
Marshall4573105
Warren4440121
Pontotoc425373
Union415777
Monroe4155135
Neshoba4061179
Lincoln4008112
Hancock386687
Leflore3515125
Tate342486
Sunflower339491
Pike3369111
Alcorn325972
Scott320174
Yazoo314171
Adams307486
Itawamba305178
Copiah299966
Coahoma298784
Simpson298189
Tippah291968
Prentiss283861
Leake271974
Marion271280
Covington267283
Wayne264442
Grenada264087
George252051
Newton248663
Tishomingo231568
Winston229981
Jasper222148
Attala215073
Chickasaw210559
Holmes190374
Clay187854
Stone187833
Tallahatchie180041
Clarke178980
Calhoun174132
Yalobusha167840
Smith164034
Walthall135347
Greene131833
Lawrence131024
Montgomery128643
Noxubee128034
Perry127138
Amite126342
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Jefferson Davis108033
Tunica108027
Claiborne103130
Benton102325
Humphreys97533
Kemper96629
Franklin85023
Quitman82216
Choctaw79118
Wilkinson69532
Jefferson66228
Sharkey50917
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 548323

Reported Deaths: 11288
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson809531565
Mobile42066826
Madison35663525
Tuscaloosa26162458
Shelby25595254
Montgomery25081612
Baldwin21839313
Lee16265176
Calhoun14718325
Morgan14626285
Etowah14171363
Marshall12449230
Houston10764288
Elmore10295213
Limestone10182157
St. Clair10160251
Cullman9941201
Lauderdale9596249
DeKalb8967189
Talladega8458184
Walker7335280
Autauga7230113
Blount6944139
Jackson6922113
Colbert6414140
Coffee5627127
Dale4929114
Russell454941
Chilton4472116
Franklin431083
Covington4273122
Tallapoosa4136155
Escambia401780
Chambers3726124
Dallas3607156
Clarke352961
Marion3242106
Pike314078
Lawrence3129100
Winston283572
Bibb268464
Geneva257581
Marengo250665
Pickens236862
Barbour234659
Hale226878
Butler224071
Fayette218162
Henry193843
Cherokee187245
Randolph187044
Monroe179341
Washington170439
Macon162951
Clay160159
Crenshaw155657
Cleburne153244
Lamar146537
Lowndes142054
Wilcox127030
Bullock124242
Conecuh113430
Coosa111429
Perry108626
Sumter105732
Greene93534
Choctaw62025
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