The US to enact up to $60 billion dollars in tariffs on China: President Trump and America First
Kanako Itamae and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
President Donald Trump of America announced that tariffs against China could rise up to $60 billion dollars if China doesn’t respond to unfair trade. Trump signed the economic executive memorandum aimed at putting “America First” and highlighting his determination to focus on issues that got him elected.
In a tweet on social media, Trump said, “As a candidate, I pledged that if elected I would use every lawful tool to combat unfair trade, protect American workers, and defend our national security. Today, we took another critical step to fulfill that commitment.”
The reason behind the tariffs is the “economic aggression” of China according to officials in the White House. Hence, officials in America now must focus on enacting tariffs in ten important sectors identified by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) under the “Made in China 2025” policy. In other words, the Trump administration is taking a confrontational approach.
Issues related to China allegedly abusing the intellectual property rights of America equally disturb Trump. The president said, “We’re going to be doing a section 301 trade action. It could be about $60 billion. But that really could be a fraction of what we’re talking about.”
On top of this, litigation cases by America aimed at China will be pursued at the World Trade Organization. This relates to licensing practices that are being manipulated by China according to the Trump administration. Also, the Treasury of the United States is being directed by Trump to restrict Chinese investments internally.
The BBC reports, “The US imports billions more goods from China each year than it exports, creating a deficit of about $375bn last year that Mr Trump has railed against.”
In response to the above, Trump is demanding China take measures in order to reduce the current deficit by $100 billion dollars. Hence, measures and statements by the Trump administration aimed at China are being upped in 2018.
Deutsche Welle reports, “In August last year, the US president instructed Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to probe allegations that China violates US intellectual property under section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974. After seven months of investigation, US officials found strong evidence that China uses foreign-ownership restrictions to compel American companies to transfer technology to Chinese firms.”
It remains to be seen how China responds but it is clear that political elites inside the CCP know that times are changing in Washington. Therefore, market volatility will be witnessed around this important issue.
Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group
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