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  • Trump orders $50B in tariffs on Chinese imports

    The Trump administration on Thursday took the first steps to slap China with up to $60 billion in tariffs on imports and to restrict investments in the US by the world’s second largest economy.

    The president instructed US Trade Representative Bob Lighthizer to assemble a package of new Chinese tariffs and direct Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to do the same for a plan to restrict Chinese investments on US technology and properties, administration officials said.

    Trump, in announcing the actions, said foreign leaders are laughing at the US over the trade advantages they enjoy over America.

    “I will say the people we’re negotiating with, smilingly, they really agree with us. I really believe they cannot believe they’ve gotten away with this for so long,” the president said.

    “ I’ll talk to Prime Minister [Shinzo] Abe of Japan and others, great guy, friend of mine, and there will be a little smile on their face and the smile is: ‘I can’t believe we’ve been able to take advantage of the United States for so long.’ So those days are over.”

    Other administration officials hailed the move.

    “The president of the United States is standing up for American corporations. He has their back,” National Trade Council Director Peter Navarro told reporters during a briefing.

    Even some Democrats — who rarely agree with the president on anything — praised the move.

    “I don’t agree with President Trump on a whole lot, but today I want to give him a big pat on the back. He is doing the right thing when it comes to China,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said.

    Trump and other US officials have long charged China with intellectual property theft — forcing companies to share technology and innovations in order to do business in the country — and the president’s move seeks to combat that.

    “Intellectual property is the lifeblood of emerging industries and the good paying jobs they provide. The American advantage of intellectual property is one of the main things that will keep us number one economically in this century. But not if we allow it to be stolen and taken advantage of. And the country that does that more than any other is China,” Schumer said.

    “China’s ruthless in how they go after us. They do it quietly, they do it with a smile, and unfortunately, previous presidents, Democrat and Republican, just stood by, as China did what it did to us.”

    Trump put the tariff target at about $60 billion, though which specific imports would be targeted remained unclear.

    Navarro said Team Trump had tried for months to address trade disputes with China without success.

    “The problem is that with the Chinese in this case talk is not cheap. It’s been very expensive for the American people and finally the president decided that we needed to move forward,” Navarro said.

    “China benefits far mar from the US-China trade relationship than the US does.”
    The current US trade deficit with China is roughly $375 billion.

    “A very conservative estimate is that that trade deficit results in about two million more jobs in China and two million less here. This is a serious problem that the US side is keenly aware of,” he said.

    “China will have a choice on how to respond and they have benefited far more from this relationship than we have.”

    Chinese officials have vowed to retaliate against any US tariffs on imports — a move that could spark a trade war.

    Wall Street was rattled by the move, with the Dow cratering by more than 450 points as of noon Thursday.

    Everett Eissenstat, deputy assistant to the president for international economic affairs, said Trump would tell Lighthizer to prepare a list of products that could be subjected to tariffs.

    “He’s going to direct the US trade representative publish a proposed list of products and any intended tariff increase within 15 days of the signing of the memorandum. After a period of notice and comment the final public tariff list will be identified,” he said.

    “He will also direct [Mnuchin] within 60 days to propose executive branch action … to address concerns about unfair acquisition of investment in the United State that is directed and facilitated by China in industries or technologies which are deemed important to the United States.”

    China has invested in or bought a variety of US companies or properties, including the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in the Big Apple and a number of tech companies and start-ups.
    The US has the world’s largest economy, valued at $19.4 trillion, while China is second at $11.9 trillion, followed by Japan, Germany, France, the UK and India.


    This article was originally published in forum thread: Trump orders $50B in tariffs on Chinese imports started by EB88 News View original post

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