United States trade officials on Tuesday published a new list of thousands of products imported from China that will be hit with new tariffs. The Trump administration wants impose an additional 10% import tax on hundreds of Chinese food products as well as tobacco, chemicals, coal, steel and aluminum.
The total value of import items subject to the new 10% dutes is approximately $200 billion according to U.S. officials.
Bloomberg reported on Twitter Wednesday morning that Chinese officials said they would retaliate.
“BREAKING: China says it will definitely retaliate and protect its legitimate rights over Donald Trump’s latest proposed tariffs”
— Bloomberg (@business) July 11, 2018
Items on the list include popular consumer goods such as car tires, furniture, wood products, handbags, suitcases,dog and cat food, baseball gloves, carpets, doors, bicycles, skis, golf bags, toilet paper and beauty products.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer issued a formal statement when he announced the new proposed tariffs:
“For over a year, the Trump administration has patiently urged China to stop its unfair practices, open its market, and engage in true market competition. Rather than address our legitimate concerns, China has begun to retaliate against U.S. products … There is no justification for such action.”
The trade war with China escalated last week when Trump and his trade team imposed new 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese imports. Immediately after that Beijing responded with matching tariffs on the same amount of American exports to China.
For weeks now investors have been afraid of a trade war that would affect the global economy and slow down global economic growth, causing loss of jobs and rising unemployment.
President Trump has said he will never back down, and Chinese officials have said the same. Trump has threatened to slap new tariffs on more than $500 billion worth of Chinese goods which is the total amount of U.S. imports from China last year.
The new list published on Tuesday includes mostly consumer goods so they will directly affect American consumers and retail firms.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch of Utah said the new announcement “appears reckless and is not a targeted approach.”
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been critical of Trump’s aggressive tariff policies, and issued the following statement:
“Tariffs are taxes, plain and simple. Imposing taxes on another $200 billion worth of products will raise the costs of every day goods for American families, farmers, ranchers, workers, and job creators. It will also result in retaliatory tariffs, further hurting American workers.”
The Retail Industry Leaders Association, a lobby group representing the largest U.S. retailers, said:
“The president has broken his promise to bring ‘maximum pain on China, minimum pain on consumers. American families are the ones being punished. Consumers, businesses and the American jobs dependent on trade, are left in the crosshairs of an escalating global trade war.”
The official English-language newspaper China Daily said in an editorial that Beijing had to stand up to Washington. “China has no option but to fight fire with fire. It has to resolutely fight back while taking proper measures to help minimize the cost to domestic enterprises and further open up its economy to global investors.”
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.