Trade war, initiated.
Way back in January 2018, United States President Donald Trump worked tariffs into place on – oddly enough – solar panels and washing machines; the tariffs weren’t on China, or any other country, in particular – rather, they were on all imports of washing machines and solar panels. The initial 1.2 million washers brought into the United States would be taxed an additional 20 percent, with the remaining however-many-washing-machines being taxed 50 percent until some time in January 2020.
All solar panels would begin being taxed at an additional rate of 30 percent, the rate declining over the years until January 2022 rolls around.
Roughly one month ago, the Trump administration placed tariffs on all steel and aluminum coming into the country from literally anywhere else on planet Earth other than the contiguous 48, Alaska, and Hawaii, to the tune of 25% and 10%, respectively.
Shortly after, the United States levied another round of tariffs into action, with the United States Trade Representative slapping roughly $50 billion in tariffs onto virtually all consumers goods, alongside various other products. Trump made it clear that these tariffs were being enacted because recent Chinese tradition dictated American businesspeople would be required to fork over their intellectual property in order to conduct business with Chinese businesspeople, a custom that many Americans obliged to due to the dramatically lowered costs of business that came with outsourcing jobs to China.
Just two days ago, on Monday, April 2, 2018, Chinese tariffs went into effect on roughly 128 different types of United States finished goods, with eight of those 128 receiving a 25% tariff, while the rest feature a tariff of 15 percent.
Yesterday, on Tuesday, April 3, 2018, the USTR – United States Trade Representative – came out with a list of roughly 1,300 Chinese products that levies would soon be imposed on.
In response, China’s ambassador to the United States said to CNBC that the country would “very soon” take appropriate measures against the import of United States goods into its country. Ambassador Cui Tiankai shared the China would enter the “dispute settlement mechanism” outlined by the World Trade Organization to “fight back” against the excessive tariffs already enacted and those slated to be enacted against the United States.
Economists across the United States don’t see any benefit to the United States of such tariffs, which won’t help either the U.S. or China out.