Early Wednesday, the Chinese government announced that it would be hitting 106 U.S. imports worth about $50 billion with 25 percent tariffs. These tariffs are being imposed in retaliation for U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods, which are in turn retaliation for Chinese tariffs on American goods, which are in retaliation for U.S. global tariffs on all steel and aluminum imports.
After China announced the new round of tariffs, President Donald Trump responded with a tweet insisting that the United States is not in a trade war with China.
Here’s what you need to know
On March 1, Trump announced that the United States would impose a 25 percent global tariff on all imports of steel and aluminum.
On Monday, China responded with tariffs on a list of 128 U.S.-made products worth about $3 billion annually. Most items on the list were hit by a 15 percent tariff, but a few, including the import of pork, were hit with a 25 percent tariff. Last year, the U.S. sold $1.1 billion of pork to China.
On Tuesday, the Trump administration released a list of 1,300 Chinese products worth roughly $50 billion a year, that could be hit by 25 percent tariffs. The products hit by the proposed tariffs would include medical equipment, medicine, bookbinding equipment, and furniture. They would also focus on the Chinese tech and aerospace industries. The Trump administration will hold a public hearing on the tariffs on May 15.
On Wednesday, China’s Ministry of Commerce announced that it plans to slap 25 percent tariffs on an additional 106 U.S. products. The total worth of these exports to China is estimated at around $50 billion, and include products like soybeans, corn, beef, whiskey, propane and automobiles.
At 7:22 a.m. ET on Wednesday, Trump tweeted: “We are not in a trade war with China, that war was lost many years ago by the foolish, or incompetent, people who represented the U.S. Now we have a Trade Deficit of $500 Billion a year, with Intellectual Property Theft of another $300 Billion. We cannot let this continue!”
We are not in a trade war with China, that war was lost many years ago by the foolish, or incompetent, people who represented the U.S. Now we have a Trade Deficit of $500 Billion a year, with Intellectual Property Theft of another $300 Billion. We cannot let this continue!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 4, 2018
After China announced the latest round of tariffs, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell nearly 500 points.