Trump touts effectiveness of tariffs in string of tweets

Daniel Fowler
August 6, 2018

The Twitter posts came one day after China vowed to impose steep tariffs on $60 billion in USA exports in retaliation to large tariffs the Trump is considering on $200 billion in Chinese exports.

Meanwhile, Chinese state TV said: "The White House's extreme pressure and blackmail are already clear to the worldwide community". Neither side is showing any sign of backing down.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow warned China after it announced its retaliatory tariffs, saying Beijing should not underestimate US President Donald Trump's determination to act on trade.

One Mahoning Valley expert said the Chinese tariffs would have a negative impact on businesses in the region. Mr Trump suggested that his use of tariffs has directly damaged the Chinese economy, something that he said would continue unless they agreed to his demands, which includes allowing more USA exports and investments.

The events give Trump a chance to frame on his own terms his much-debated moves on trade, foreign policy, media-bashing and interactions with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"For decades, our politicians allowed other countries to steal our jobs, plunder our wealth, and loot our economy", Trump said. "It adds to inflation pressure and interest rates and [would] strengthen the dollar, which makes trade situation even worse" for the USA, he said. But for the last one year, there has been tension between the two countries after Trump directed his Commerce department to probe whether imports of metals such as steel and aluminium from China threatened national security. The deficit had narrowed in previous months as companies rushed out exports to beat the imposition of tariffs. And the best news, I think, is we are coming together with the European Union to make a deal with them, so we'll have a united front against China and, I think, most of our trade team would tell you, we're moving close on Mexico. "We win either way".

On Saturday, President Donald Trump praised his tariff plan and insisted, "steelworkers are working again, and big dollars are flowing into our Treasury".

Thus Marc Thiessen writes in The Washington Post that "contrary to what his critics allege, Trump is not a protectionist; rather, he is using tariffs as a tool to advance a radical free-trade agenda".

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China's Commerce Ministry said in a seperate statement Beijing's new set of proposed import tariffs on USA goods were rational and restrained.

Full lists of USA products subject to different levels of additional tariffs are available on the website of the Ministry of Finance.

Then, in July, the United States imposed tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese goods to pressure the country into abandoning what the Trump administration describes as unfair practices such as stealing intellectual property.

But Trump raised the stakes this week with his threat to lift the tariff rate.

The White House is now negotiating with South Korea and the European Union regarding trade agreements for soy beans, energy products, steel and aluminum.

Fast forward to today, when the WSJ gives some further color, noting that while "the administration didn't spell out a particular rationale for increasing the tariff...."

"Year-to-date, the goods and services deficit increased $19.6 billion (R260 billion), or 7.2%, from the same period in 2017", the Census Bureau said in a press release.

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