President Trump just announced a new series of tariffs on roughly $50 billion in Chinese imports. These new tariffs are the result of a seven-month investigation into China’s continued theft of US intellectual property. “We have a tremendous intellectual property theft problem. It’s going to make us a much stronger, much richer nation,” President Trump told reporters this morning. “This has been long in the making.”
While President Trump is imposing the harsh tariffs to help correct the current trade imbalance, he remained open and confident with US-Chinese relations calling China a “friend” to the use and stating he had “tremendous respect” President Xi Jinping.
More Via The Hill Opinion:
Section 301 gives the U.S. Trade Representative broad authority to take measures against a foreign country’s unfair trade practices. The U.S. is challenging China for alleged violations of IP rights and practices of forced technology-transfers; whereby if an American company wishes to do business in certain areas in the form of joint ventures with a Chinese firm, it often has to share its IP (such as trade secrets or industrial designs). The 301 investigations have potential for broad sanctions on China such as high punitive tariffs on its exports (for examples high-tech products like semiconductors and telecommunications equipment) and restrictions on Chinese investment in the U.S. This would be detrimental to China and provoke retaliatory trade measures.
Aides described the $50 billion figure as a conservative estimate of what forced technology transfer and other moves by China cost the U.S. economy. The president suggested the total value of the tariffs could go as high as $60 billion. […]
The proposed tariffs on imports from China follow the administration’s decision to impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. Those tariffs, which take effect on Friday, have already been watered down. Lighthizer said that in addition to Canada and Mexico, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, South Korea and the European Union will be exempted from the steel and aluminum tariffs, at least temporarily.
Administration officials defended the crackdown on China, saying years of dialogue during the George W. Bush and Obama administrations had not produced the desired change. Dialogue continued during the opening months of the Trump administration, but the president has now decided tougher action is required.