About one month ago, the Trump Administration announced the imposition of new tariffs on imported steel and aluminum – meant to support American manufacture of those goods, and the rural coal industry that supports them. However, America’s main trading partner in those goods – China – has retaliated with a tariff of their own.
In response to Trump’s new trade policies, China on Sunday declared that it will be unveiling tariffs on 128 products being exported by the U.S. The new developments in this trade war between China and the U.S. are likely to mainly affect the food exports of the U.S.
The Chinese Ministry of Commerce in a statement declared that it will be “suspending tariff concessions” from Monday. The main exports being affected are fruits, wine, dried fruits and nuts (almonds and pistachio) which will face an additional tariff of 15% and a 25% tariff on eight other products which includes frozen pork.
The Chinese Ministry of Commerce further stated that “a large number of people expressed their support” for these tariffs put on Chinese imports from the U.S.; also that these measures were necessary to “safeguard the interests of the country and its industry”. However, they did leave room for negotiations, that will put a stop to this possible trade war between the two countries by saying, “As the world’s two largest economies, cooperation is the only correct option.”
The total annual exports made by China to the U.S. in 2017 were valued around $505 billion, while the U.S. only exported goods worth $135 billion to China. President Trump aims to reduce this difference between the imports and exports of the U.S. for a better balance of trade. This required some strict measures which the President took despite the concerns of some officials regarding China’s reaction.
However, it seems that China has no interest in escalating a trade war, Chinese Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan explained “There are no winners in a trade war,” adding, “It will only bring disaster to China and the United States and the world.”
“The amount subject to tariff is not big, which shows China is willing to ease the intensity of the trade conflict that was started by the U.S. Trump gave us a heavy shot, and China is giving a light shot back,” stated Shi Yinhong, the Director of the U.S. Research Centre at the Renmin University in Beijing.