Trump announces tariff increases against Chinese goods

Published on
May 6, 2019

U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday, 5 May, escalated the trade war between the United States and China when he announced his intention to raise a 10 percent tariff on USD 200 billion (EUR 178.6 billion) of goods to 25 percent on Friday 10 May.

That hike will affect numerous types of seafood products already under the 10 percent tariff. 

“The Tariffs paid to the USA have had little impact on product cost, mostly borne by China,” Trump tweeted Sunday afternoon. “The Trade Deal with China continues, but too slowly, as they attempt to renegotiate. No!”

In addition, another USD 325 billion (EUR 290.3 billion) of goods that have previously escaped tariffs will also be hit by the 25 percent fee. That would cover the remaining products China, the largest importer to the U.S., ships to America.

The move from 10 to 25 percent was originally supposed to take place in January, but U.S. officials announced a postponement of the move in December as the countries with the world’s largest economies worked to resolve their trade disputes.

However, as it appeared both sides were close to reaching a deal in March, Trump announced the tariffs would remain “for a substantial period of time.”

Sunday’s announcement comes as Chinese officials are scheduled to arrive in the U.S. later this week to meet with their American counterparts. Reuters reported Monday morning that China planned to continue with the talks. However, it was unclear if Vice Premier Liu He, the country’s top trade negotiator, would be part of the delegation.

On Sunday, after Trump made his announcement, a group representing American businesses hurt by the tariffs criticized the move, saying the tariff hike could cost as many as a million American jobs.

Tariffs Hurt the Heartland also said Trump was wrong to say China has borne most of the tariff costs, saying that USD 69 billion (EUR 61.6 billion) in added costs have hit American businesses and consumers.

“Doubling down on taxing Americans as a negotiating tactic only makes a bad situation worse,” the organization said in its statement. “Taxing Americans when they buy furniture, tools, electronics and groceries should have nothing to do with reaching this agreement. This isn’t leverage to get a better deal, it’s taking money out of the pockets of hard-working Americans.”

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