White House Takes Tough Trade Stance With China

The Trump administration will be imposing a series of punitive trade-related measures on China in the next month. The United States will levy 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion of imported Chinese goods, according to a statement from the White House. The final list of goods that will subject to the tariffs will be released by June 15 and the duties imposed shortly after.

According to reports, the tariffs will be focused on the tech sectors and high-growth industries identified in China’s “Made in China 2025” program. The administration previously announced a list of goods that would be subject to tariffs. The White House said a series of public hearings on the tariffs influenced the final list.

The Trump administration is also planning to move forward with stronger export controls meant to limit the access China has to American technology. Those restrictions will be announced by June 30 and adopted soon after. The administration says the measures are needed for national security purposes.

The United States also will continue to pursue a trade case involving intellectual property rights it has filed against China at the World Trade Organization. The WTO case is based on allegations by the U.S. that Chinese firms unfairly acquire intellectual property from U.S. companies through forced transfers and mandated partnerships.

President Trump has often talked about what he has described as China’s unfair trade practices. Those practices have resulted in a massive trade deficit in China’s favor. In response to the Trump Administration’s actions, China has threatened its own potential set of tariffs on $50 billion in American goods.

United States commerce secretary Wilbur Ross is expected to return to Beijing on June 2 to continue the trade talks between the nations. The last round of talks concluded on May 19 with the countries announcing little progress. The Chinese government and Trump administration officials agreed to the outline of a trade truce earlier this month. However, President Trump has repeatedly said he has not been satisfied with the negotiations

The American negotiators have identified a long list of complaints for China to address. The U.S. has asked Beijing to remove “all of its many trade barriers” that prevent American companies from doing business in China. The U.S. has also requested that “tariffs and taxes between the two countries be reciprocal in nature and value.”

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