Backtrack Blowback: U.S. Makes It Official, Imposes Steep Tariffs on $200 Billion of Chinese Goods

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
backtrack blowback u s makes it official imposes steep tariffs on 200 billion of

The United States made good on a threat to impose higher tariffs on a new raft of Chinese goods Wednesday, days after the the People’s Republic reportedly backtracked on nearly every element of a draft trade deal hammered out by the two countries.

The 25 percent tariff officially hits $200 billion worth of Chinese goods on Friday, according to a Federal Register notice. As we told you yesterday, U.S. trade representatives reportedly took issue with China’s reluctance to change its laws to protect the intellectual property rights of U.S. companies.

According sources who spoke to Reuters, China returned the draft trade deal last Friday — which the U.S. expected to sign at some point this week — with edits made to “all aspects” of the agreement. To the U.S. team, China had reneged on all of its promises.

Top of mind for the team, including U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, was seeing legal reform in China to end the practice of forced technology transfers. Companies that do business in that market put themselves at risk of stolen intellectual property that then places the company at a competitive disadvantage.

From Reuters:

In each of the seven chapters of the draft trade deal, China had deleted its commitments to change laws to resolve core complaints that caused the United States to launch a trade war: theft of U.S. intellectual property and trade secrets; forced technology transfers; competition policy; access to financial services; and currency manipulation.

“This undermines the core architecture of the deal,” said a D.C. source with knowledge of the talks.

President Donald Trump first threatened new tariffs on Sunday. On Wednesday, he took to Twitter to suggest China is playing a game, hoping to one day negotiate a deal with a more lenient Democratic administration.

The reason for the China pullback & attempted renegotiation of the Trade Deal is the sincere HOPE that they will be able to “negotiate” with Joe Biden or one of the very weak Democrats, and thereby continue to ripoff the United States (($500 Billion a year)) for years to come….

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 8, 2019

….Guess what, that’s not going to happen! China has just informed us that they (Vice-Premier) are now coming to the U.S. to make a deal. We’ll see, but I am very happy with over $100 Billion a year in Tariffs filling U.S. coffers…great for U.S., not good for China!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 8, 2019

The White House hopes the new tariffs, poised to hit China at 12:01 a.m. on May 10th, prompts a second U-turn from its trade adversary. Chinese Vice Premier Liu He is scheduled to land in Washington, trade delegation in tow, on Thursday in an attempt to salvage the talks.

[Source: Reuters (via Global News)] [Image: General Motors]

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2 of 29 comments
  • Conundrum Conundrum on May 08, 2019

    Even Walmart couldn't change Trump's mind. Expect to pay more for everything plastic.

  • James Charles James Charles on May 09, 2019

    I think the Trump administration and his clingons need to exercise caution with negotiations. Trump is losing support across the world with some of his ridiculous and odd tactics. Trump is giving the Chinese a freer reign in becoming more dominant. The techniques Trump employs might appeal to the nostalgic deadwood of US society, the has been generation and Nationalists. Trump is a bully and those who support his practice will be the first to blame the world for the US not advancing. Look at Huawei, even the EU will not support Trump amd Huawei just leap froged Apple in size. Bloomberg had a great piece today on what the US needs to do to challenge the Chinese. Become apart of more multilateral trade blocks to counter the Chinese. This makes sense as the US can better influence other nations. But, taxing your close allies unfairly and considering them a security risk will drive them away. Like Trumps businesses he's going to fnck the US, the only difference is bankruptcy laws for countries doesn't exist. The Chinese will respond to the EU, Japan, other Asian nations and the US is they act as one. But Trump's naive vision that the US can unilaterally survive is doomed for failure. We'll Trump is giving the Chinese a helping hand in the long run.

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