Trump Is Willing To Hit All Chinese Imports With Tariffs or Duties

President Donald Trump has intimated that he’s willing to hit every product imported from China by tariffs, sending U.S. markets sliding before the opening bell Friday.

In an interview with the channel CNBC, Trump said “I’m willing to go to 500,” indicating roughly to the $505.5 billion in goods imported last year from China.

The administration to date has slapped tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese goods in a trade fight over what it calls the nation’s predatory practices.

Dow futures which had already been showing modestly lower slid sharply after the comments were aired by CNBC early Friday, showing triple-digit losses when the market opens.

The yuan dipped to a 12-month low of 6.8 on the dollar, off by 7.6 per cent since in the mid of February.

China has retaliated with taxes of its own, hitting U.S. imports of soybeans and pork. The government July 10 announced a second possible round targeting $200 billion worth of goods. Beijing vowed “firm and forceful measures” in response.

(Trump Is Willing To Hit All Chinese Imports With Tariffs or Duties)

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Trump Is Willing To Hit All Chinese Imports With Tariffs or Duties

Beijing is targeting sectors, like agriculture, that could harm Trump politically at home, though he said in the CNBC interview that he is seeking to do only what is right.

“I’m not doing this for politics, I’m doing this to do the right thing for our nation,” Trump said. “We have been ripped off by China for a long time.”

There is already a pushback in the U.S. from businesses that will take a hit in an escalating trade war.

Trump has commanded Commerce to investigate whether auto imports pose a threat to U.S. national security that would justify tariffs or other trade restrictions. Earlier this year, he used national security as a reason for taxing imported steel and aluminium.

Auto tariffs would escalate global trade stress dramatically: The U.S. last year imported $192 billion in vehicles and $143 billion in auto parts — figures that dwarf last year’s $29 billion in steel and $23 billion in aluminium imports.

In the same interview, taped Thursday at the White House, Trump broke with a long-standing belief at the White House and voiced displeasure about recent actions at the U.S. Federal Reserve. Both political and economic officials believe that the central bank needs to work free of political pressure from the White House or elsewhere to properly manage interest rate policy.

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Last month, the Fed raised its benchmark rate for a second time this year and projected two more additions in 2018. Its rate hikes are meant to prevent the economy from overheating and igniting high rise. But rate increases also make borrowing expensive for households and companies and can weaken the pace of growth. In particular, the Fed’s most recent rate hikes could reduce some of the benefits of the tax cuts Trump signed into law last year.

(Trump Is Willing To Hit All Chinese Imports With Tariffs or Duties)

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