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article imageChina announces tariffs of 10 percent on 5,000 U.S. items

By Karen Graham     Sep 18, 2018 in Politics
Beijing - It is turning into a tit-for-tat game as China announced on Tuesday it will impose additional tariffs on U.S. products worth 60 billion U.S. dollars starting Sept. 24 in response to the newly announced U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods.
According to Xinhuanet, on Tuesday, the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council unveiled lists of 3,571 items of U.S. products to be subject to additional tariffs of 10 percent, and lists of another 1,636 items to be subject to additional tariffs of five percent.
China will place an additional five percent in duty on U.S. products including smaller aircraft, computers and textiles, and an extra 10% on goods such as chemicals, meat, wheat, and wine.
The new tax rates will take effect at 12:01 p.m. Beijing time on Sept. 24, said the commission. This all came about after the Trump administration slapped tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports on Monday.
According to the BBC, China will target American goods such as liquefied natural gas, which is produced in states loyal to the U.S. president.
Trump has already taken to Twitter, in effect daring China to interfere with his push to put more Republicans in office in November. Trump tweeted: "China has openly stated that they are actively trying to impact and change our election by attacking our farmers, ranchers, and industrial workers because of their loyalty to me. What China does not understand is that these people are great patriots and fully understand that China has been taking advantage of the United States on Trade for many years. They also know that I am the one that knows how to stop it. There will be great and fast economic retaliation against China if our farmers, ranchers and/or industrial workers are targeted!"
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the new tariffs are aimed at modifying China’s behavior and leveling the playing field for U.S. companies there. China is “out of bullets” to retaliate, Ross told CNBC’s “Squawk Box. ”
Trump has not made a lot of friends in the international community through his trade actions. Trump insists what he is doing plays into his wider concern about the U.S. trade deficit. In his mind, this situation has arisen because of bad trade agreements and unfair trading by other countries, according to the BBC.
As the BBC points out, "a trade deficit is generally regarded as being the result of savings and investment decisions rather than trade policy. A country that spends more than it earns has a trade deficit. And for the last three months, the US trade deficit has continued to rise, although Trump never mentions this little fact.
The problem can escalate as Trump's tax cuts could increase government borrowing, which is equivalent to cutting national saving and could create a bigger trade deficit. It may be difficult to fully understand Trump's thinking, but it sounds sort of out of kilter.
More about China, Tariffs, us goods, escalating tensions, Trump
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