By Jessica Domel
Multimedia Reporter

The United States is moving forward with tariffs on an additional $200 billion in Chinese exports.

U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer said this latest round of tariffs are a result of China’s implementation of new tariffs on U.S. exports last week.

“As a result of China’s retaliation and failure to change its practices, the President has ordered USTR to begin the process of imposing tariffs of 10 percent on an additional $200 billion of Chinese imports,” Lighthizer said. “This is an appropriate response under the authority of Section 301 to obtain the elimination of China’s harmful industrial policies.”

Lighthizer’s office is expected to release a list of impacted products this week.

“USTR will proceed with a transparent and comprehensive public notice and comment process prior to the imposition of final tariffs, as we have for previous tariffs,” Lighthizer said.

A spokesperson for the People’s Republic of China’s Ministry of Commerce said the action is “totally unacceptable.”

“We express our solemn protest,” the spokesperson said. “The behavior of the U.S. is hurting China, hurting the world and hurting itself. This irrational behavior is unpopular.”

He said China is shocked by the actions of the U.S. and will pursue counter-measures.

“At the same time, we call on the international community to work together to safeguard the rules of free trade and multilateral trading system and jointly oppose trade hegemonism,” the spokesperson said. “At the same time, we will immediately file an additional lawsuit against the U.S. unilateralist behavior to the World Trade Organization (WTO).”

China has already filed its concerns with the WTO dispute settlement body against the United States’ 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum and 25 percent tariff on imported steel.

This week’s tariff threats are the latest in what has been a months-long dispute between the two countries.
Just last week, the United States began levying a 25 percent tariff on $34 billion in Chinese goods.

President Donald Trump told reporters Thursday, July 5, if China retaliates to those tariffs, the administration will pursue additional tariffs on $500 billion in Chinese exports with the $200 billion package coming first.

“On Friday, in response to unfair Chinese practices, the United States began imposing tariffs of 25 percent on approximately $34 billion worth of Chinese imports. These tariffs will eventually cover up to $50 billion in Chinese imports as legal processes conclude,” Lighthizer said. “The products targeted by the tariffs are those that benefit from China’s industrial policy and forced technology transfer practices.”

China responded with equal tariffs on U.S. exports including: soybeans, beef, cotton, corn, ethanol, dried distillers grains, grain sorghum, wheat, cranberries, orange juice, tobacco, whisky, pork, poultry, rice, dairy products and a variety of fruits, vegetables and tree nuts.

The tariffs affect 90 percent of all U.S. agricultural exports to China.

Pork products, which already faced a 25 percent tariff China implemented in April and a base tariff, now face a 62 percent tariff.

The president tweeted Wednesday morning he is thinking about American farmers.

“Soybeans fell 50 percent from 2012 to my election,” Trump tweeted. “Farmers have done poorly for 15 years. Other countries’ trade barriers and tariffs have been destroying their businesses. I will open things up, better than ever before, but it can’t go too quickly. I am fighting for a level playing field for our farmers, and will win!”