Tariffs: U.S. and China trade war escalates
The U.S. and China have “plunged deeper into a trade war,” said Susan Heavey and Yawen Chan in Reuters.com. President Trump announced tariffs on another $200 billion of Chinese goods, and Beijing retaliated with duties on $60 billion of American products. The U.S. levies start at 10 percent and rise to 25 percent by the end of the year. The announced tariffs now cover a total of $250 billion in goods, or about half of imports from China. That includes everything from handbags to cameras, though Apple dodged duties on its digital watch. The U.S. seeks “sweeping changes” to Chinese trade, technology transfer, and industrial subsidy policies.
This is getting ugly, said Bess Levin in VanityFair.com. Suddenly, the China trade war‑—which “the White House believes, against all evidence, it is totally winning”—has taken a dangerous turn. The administration now claims it’s prepared to tax all Chinese imports. Despite the president’s claim that the tariffs have been “barely noticeable,” many U.S. businesses have been bruised, “unable to absorb cost increases and forced to lay off employees and contemplate closing their doors for good.” It’s naïve of Trump to think China will back down here. This week’s tit-for-tat exchange demonstrates “Beijing has absolutely no intention of doing so.” ■