Trade Tensions Escalate with Another Chinese Tariff Increase

Brian German Agri-Business, Trade

tariff increase

The Chinese Finance Ministry has announced another tariff increase on a wide range of American goods, as trade negotiations fall short of establishing an agreement between the two countries.  The rate increase comes as a response to the increased tariffs on Chinese goods that President Trump announced last week.

Beijing will be raising tariffs up to 25 percent on 5,140 U.S. products.  The Chinese Finance Ministry will be holding off on putting the rate increase into effect until June 1.  The delay in implementation is similar to the one announced by the Trump administration, allowing time for negotiators to potentially reach an agreement before the increases take effect.  Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer met with Chinese representatives last week, however, the two sides were unable to come to terms on a deal.

“I say openly to President Xi & all of my many friends in China that China will be hurt very badly if you don’t make a deal because companies will be forced to leave China for other countries. Too expensive to buy in China,” President Trump tweeted on Monday.  “You had a great deal, almost completed, & you backed out!”

China’s tariff increase will affect $60 billion in American goods.  One of the industries to feel the pressure of higher tariffs will once against be the agriculture sector, particularly for commodities such as wheat, coffee, vegetables, sugar, peanuts, and various meats. The National Corn Growers Association, the American Soybean Association, and the National Association of Wheat Growers have all issued statements detailing the negative impact that the trade tension with China has already had on their industries.

Last week U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer also noted that the increased tariffs on Chinese goods could go even further.  “The president also ordered us to begin the process of raising tariffs on essentially all remaining imports from China, which are valued at approximately $300 billion,” Lighthizer said.

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Brian German

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Ag News Director, AgNet West