Which American Industries Are Caught in the Crossfire of Trump’s Trade War With China?


The United States and China moved full steam ahead with a trade war on Friday, leaving a number of American industries about to be caught in the crossfire.

President Donald Trump imposed 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese goods on Friday at midnight, leading the Chinese government to retaliate with duties of the same amount on a variety of American products. Trump argues that China employs unfair trading practices, frequently bemoans the United States’ massive trade deficit with the country, and has threatened to implement additional tariffs on China in the future.

China’s retaliatory tariffs, imposed on about 1,300 products, primarily target American agriculture. The tariffs will make U.S. goods more expensive to sell in China, harming U.S. farmers (among others). A CNN Money compilation highlights some of the major American industries in the line of fire.

On the list are meat items such as frozen beef, various pork products, and frozen chicken nuggets; produce including potatoes, apples, cherries, and avocados; dairy products including butter, cream, and yogurt; fish exports of salmon, mackerel, and yellowfin tuna; seafood including lobster, shark fin, and octopus; tobacco products such as cigarettes and cigars; pet foods; drinks including whiskey and orange juice; and a number of automotive vehicles.

Trump’s approach has been criticized by American business groups, who argue that tariffs will only cause economic woes rather than persuading China to alter its practices. One such group—the National Association of Manufacturers—said in a statement Friday that China benefits from unfair trade practices such as intellectual property theft, but that tariffs “have not and will not solve the existing problems in China. Tariffs will bring retaliation and possibly more tariffs.”

Indeed, China’s response was quick. The Chinese Commerce Ministry released a statement after the United States imposed its new tariffs on Friday, saying that the American government was employing “typical trade bullying,” and that it had “ignited the largest trade war in economic history.”

“[T]his action threatens global supply chains and value chains, stalls the global economic recovery, triggers global market turmoil, and will hurt more innocent multinational corporations, enterprises and ordinary consumers,” the statement read.

And the trade hostilities don’t have a clear end in sight. According to the New York Times, Trump said this week that he was eyeing another $16 billion in Chinese goods for tariffs in the next couple of weeks, with as much as $450 billion in products also on the table for additional tariffs. Such action could, of course, trigger further retaliatory tariffs on American industries from China.





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