Ryan Pickrel, DCNF
President Donald Trump threatened to escalate the ongoing trade war Monday with additional tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.
“I directed the United States Trade Representative to identify $200 billion worth of Chinese goods for additional tariffs at a rate of 10 percent,” the relevant White House statement read.
These tariffs would be in addition to the “25 percent tariffs on $50 billion of goods from China that contain industrially significant technologies” the administration imposed on China last Friday as punishment for years of intellectual property theft and unfair trade practices.
Rather than change course, China responded with its own tariffs. Beijing immediately retaliated by imposing a reciprocal 25 percent on hundreds of American products with an estimated worth of roughly $50 billion.
“China, a responsible and reliable major trading nation, hates to be engaged in a trade war with the United States, knowing that it would be a lose-lose game for both,” the state-run Xinhua News Agency argued Saturday. “But this does not mean that Beijing is going to sit quietly in the face of Washington’s planned unilateral tariffs. China has to fight back forcefully so as to safeguard the interests of the nation and its people.”
As China did not get the president’s message the first time, he is now threatening China with tougher tariffs. “These tariffs,” the White House said Monday, “will go into effect if China refuses to change its practices, and also if it insists on going forward with the new tariffs that it has recently announced.” The administration argued that the “latest action by China clearly indicates its determination to keep the United States at a permanent and unfair disadvantage.”
“The trade relationship between the United States and China must be more equitable,” the statement further explained.
Several rounds of trade talks in Washington and Beijing have failed to produce results acceptable to both parties, and now it appears that a simple trade spat is spiraling into a major trade war.
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