2018 China–United States trade war

China and the United States are locked in an ongoing trade war as each country has introduced tariffs on goods traded with the other. US President Donald Trump had promised in his campaign to fix China's "longtime abuse of the broken international system and unfair practices". Starting in January 2018 the U.S imposed a tariff on solar panel imports, most of which are manufactured in China.[1]On July 6, the U.S. specifically targeted China by imposed 25% tariffs on $34 billion of imported Chinese goods[2] as part of Trump's tariffs policy, which then led China to respond with similarly sized tariffs on U.S. products. A tariff on an additional $16 billion of Chinese imports was added in mid August,[3] with China responding proportionately.[4] A further tariff on $200 Billion of Chinese goods is to go into effect on September 24,[5] to which China plans to respond to with tariffs on $60 Billion of US goods.[6]The Trump administration said the tariffs were necessary to protect national security and the intellectual property of U.S. businesses, and to help reduce the U.S. trade deficit with China.[7][8]

The U.S. administration is relying partly on Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 to prevent what it claims are unfair trade practices and theft of intellectual property. [9][10] This gives the president the authority to unilaterally impose fines or other penalties on a trading partner if it is deemed to be unfairly harming U.S. business interests.[11] Trump had already, in August 2017, opened a formal investigation into attacks on the intellectual property of the U.S. and its allies, the theft of which cost the U.S. alone an estimated $225–600 billion a year.[12][13]

United States tariffs

The United States International Trade Commission publishes all tariffs in the document "Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States"[14]

Generally, tariffs depends on exporting countries which are treated in one of three different groups:

  • 1. Privileged countries such as most developing countries and countries with trade agreements such as NAFTA. Tariffs here are zero for most products.
  • 2. "Rate of duty column 2" is enhanced tariffs for legal trade with Cuba and North Korea
  • 3. All other countries.

The tariffs are typically given as a percentage of value, but it can also be given per Kg weight or per unit.

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