China Announces New Tariffs

By: - August 23, 2019 12:00 am

The Chinese government announced Friday that it will impose new tariffs on billion in U.S. imports and resume tariffs on U.S. vehicles and auto parts in response to President Donald Trump’s plan to raise tariffs on billion in Chinese imports, China’s state-run Xinhua news agency reported Friday.

“If the United States acts arbitrarily, China will have to take countermeasures,” Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng said at a press conference earlier this week, Xinhua reported.

The ongoing trade war between the United States and China — combined with trade conflicts between the United States and other major trading partners, such as Mexico, Canada and the European Union — have raised costs and hurt exports for many businesses for more than a year, from packaged food companies to ginseng growers.

The trade fight also has hurt thousands of Midwestern farmers who rotate between growing corn and soybeans. In the 2016-2017 marketing year, before the trade war began, about a third of soybeans grown in the United States were sold to buyers in China, according to a June report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“We don’t need China and, frankly, would be far better off without them,” Trump tweeted Friday. “The vast amounts of money made and stolen by China from the United States, year after year, for decades, will and must STOP. Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing your companies HOME and making your products in the USA.”

The latest Chinese tariffs include an extra 5% on U.S. soybeans and crude oil imports and will resume a suspended 25% tariff on U.S. cars, Bloomberg News reported. China will also raise tariffs on U.S. pork, beef, chicken, wheat, sorghum and cotton.

The Chinese tariffs, like the latest round of tariffs planned by the United States, will take effect in September and December.

Earlier this month, China ordered state-run companies to stop buying U.S. agricultural goods, a move U.S. Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall described as a “body blow” to farmers and ranchers.

“Farm Bureau economists tell us exports to China were down by .3 billion during the first half of the year,” he said in a statement posted online. “Now, we stand to lose all of what was a .1 billion market in 2018, which was down sharply from the .5 billion U.S. farmers exported to China in 2017.”

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Sophie Quinton

Sophie Quinton writes about fiscal and economic policy for Stateline. Previously, she wrote for National Journal.