Trump escalates US-China trade war with tariff increases

Published on
August 26, 2019

Soon after China moved on 23 August to raise tariffs on USD 75 billion (EUR 67.4 billion) of U.S. goods, U.S. President Donald Trump retaliated with another increase to tariffs on Chinese goods. 

China’s escalation of its tariffs on U.S. goods hit the seafood industry once again, increasing the tariffs on salmon, lobster, pollock, cod, squid, crab to 35 percent, exempting raw material for processing and re-export. The previous tariffs already had a significant impact on some sectors of the seafood industry – lobster exports from Maine to China plunged 84 percent after the tariffs took effect. 

Within hours of China's announcement on Friday, the U.S. government announced a tariff increase of 5 percent on USD 550 billion (EUR 494.8 billion) worth of Chinese imports. That means the 25 percent tariff currently in effect on roughly USD 250 billion (EUR 224.9 billion) worth of goods will increase to 30 percent effective 1 October, following a notice and comment period. The 10 percent tariffs on roughly USD 300 billion (EUR 269.9 billion) worth of goods, announced on 1 August will increase to 15 percent, effective on the previous scheduled date of 1 September.

“For many years China (and many other countries) has been taking advantage of the United States on trade, intellectual property theft, and much more. Our country has been losing hundreds of billions of dollars a year to China, with no end in sight,” Trump said in a late-afternoon tweet announcing the tariffs. “As president, I can no longer allow this to happen! In the spirit of achieving fair trade, we must balance this very unfair trading relationship.”

A statement released by the United States Trade Representative about the tariffs called China’s escalation “unjustified.”

“USTR will publish in the Federal Register as soon as possible additional details on today’s announcement,” the USTR release stated. 

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock. 

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