Trump says US “better off without” China after latest tariff escalation

China moved on Friday, 23 August to raise tariffs on USD 75 billion (EUR 67.3 billion) in American goods, in response to a move made at the beginning of the month by U.S. President Donald Trump to raise tariffs on Chinese goods

China’s new tariffs – ranging between 5 and 10 percent – will affect goods ranging from soybeans to crude oil to automobiles, and also include additional tariffs for seafood. They will go into effect between September and December, mirroring the dates set by Trump in his revised timeline for implementing the latest round of U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods. Most U.S. seafood exported to China will will be subject to an additional 10 percent tariff on 1 September, raising Chinese tariffs on U.S. seafood as high as 35 percent. 

“The U.S. measures have led to the continuous escalation of Sino-U.S. economic and trade frictions, which have greatly harmed the interests of China, the United States and other countries, and have also seriously threatened the multilateral trading system and the principle of free trade,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a press release.

China previously published lists of goods subject to 25 percent tariffs, 20 percent tariffs, 10 percent tariffs, and 5 percent tariffs. Included in the items subject the highest level of tariffs were most species and types of fish and shellfish, with exceptions for some seafood brought into China for processing and re-exportation. U.S. soybeans, chicken, and beef will all be hit with additional 10 percent tariffs in September.

In response, Trump sent out a series of messages via Twitter urging American companies to avoid doing business in China.

“We don’t need China and, frankly, would be far better off without them,” he tweeted. “Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing your companies home and making your products in the U.S.A.”

In recent weeks, tensions between the U.S. and China escalated further after China halted purchases of U.S. agricultural goods and allowed its currency, the yuan, to weaken, while the U.S. Treasury Department labeled China a currency manipulator.

Teams of negotiators from the two countries still have plans to discuss the trade situation via phone in coming days, and in-person with a visit by Chinese representatives to Washington D.C. in September, according to Fox Business Network.

Photo courtesy of Shealah Craighead/The White House


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