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Trump Strikes China With Tariffs

Jocelyn Reeder, Feature Editor

President Trump on Thursday directed the U.S. trade representatives to level tariffs on about $50 billion worth of Chinese imports following a seven-month investigation into intellectual property theft. In addition to the tariffs, the U.S. also plans to impose new investment restrictions, take actions against China at the World Trade Organization, and the Treasury Department also will propose additional measures.

Trump stated the tariffs would affect about $60 billion of Chinese imports, but administration officials said the figure would be closer to $50 billion. “We have a tremendous intellectual property theft problem. It’s going to make us a much stronger, much richer nation,” Trump reported. The Trump Administration’s steel and aluminum tariffs also took aim at China, which is heightening concerns of a trade war that could destabilize the global economy.

Trump introduced his trade action by saying he views China as a “friend” and stated he has “tremendous respect” for Chinese President Xi Jinping. He also said the U.S. would continue to engage diplomatically with China to reduce the trade imbalance. The investigation determined that China has stolen U.S. intellectual property by hacking U.S. computer networks.

China announced its own tariffs Friday on $3 billion worth of U.S. imports. China’s embassy in Washington indicated the country was up for a fight in a statement late Thursday. “We are confident in our capability to face up to any challenge. We urge the U.S. to cease and desist, ” reported the ministry.

“Administrations before us and this administration have tried very, very hard to work with the Chinese,” Navarro stated. The tariffs will not take immediate effect. Instead. the U.S. trade representatives will publish a list of targeted goods within 15 days and then allow a 30-day public comment period.  It is still not clear what percentage the tariff the U.S.would assess on the affected Chinese imports.

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Trump Strikes China With Tariffs