Federal Spotlight: Trump Administration Imposes Tariffs on China

March 29, 2018

President Trump signed a memorandum last week that would impose tariffs on many products the United States imports from China. The measure implements duties up to $60 billion on the world’s second largest economic power. The directive comes as the Trump administration has accused China of stealing U.S. intellectual property and committing unfair trade practices. The office of U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will publish a list of targeted products within the next two weeks, and then there will be a 30-day public comment period.

China is likely to retaliate by targeting U.S agricultural products. The Chinese tariffs come on the heels of the Trump Administration proclaiming tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum imports, though several nations will be exempt from those particular tariffs. Many in the business community fear these actions could lead to a trade war that would have devastating consequences on the U.S. economy. The U.S. could have no better advocate for trade than former Gov. Branstad, Ambassador to China, who spoke with Iowa Public Radio earlier this week about trade and also North Korea. Not only are national leaders watching trade issues, but also legislators in Iowa, as tariffs could negatively impact the Iowa economy.

ABI continues to watch this issue and receive updates from our national partners on how we can be helpful to the conversation.