- The US is preparing tariffs on all remaining Chinese imports to the US and could announce the move as soon as December, according to a new Bloomberg report.
- The tariffs could be announced in the event that talks between US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in late November do not help ease the US-China trade war.
- The tariffs would apply to roughly $US257 billion worth of Chinese goods and likely increase prices for US businesses and consumers.
The Trump administration is preparing to take the trade war with China to a fever pitch if talks between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping fail to deescalate the fight, according to a new report.
Bloomberg reported Monday the Trump administration is readying tariffs on all remaining Chinese goods coming into the US and could announce the move as soon as early December. The announcement could cover an additional $US257 billion worth of Chinese imports to the US, adding onto the $US250 billion worth of goods already subject to additional duties.
Trump and Xi could still avoid the escalation of trade war, Bloomberg said, if talks at the G20 meeting in Argentina at the end of November are productive. If those talks fail, the final round of tariffs could go into effect in February – just in time for the Chinese Lunar New Year celebration.
When asked about the report during the press briefing Monday afternoon, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders declined to elaborate and only said that she hoped the meeting between Trump and Xi goes well.
The final list of goods would largely hit consumer products and capital goods, which the Trump administration has so far spared, and likely would push up prices for many US businesses and consumers.
The trade war between the US and China kicked off in March when the Trump administration announced tariffs on $US50 billion worth of Chinese goods, the goal of the tariffs was to punish China for the theft of US intellectual property and noncompetitive economic policies that the US said harmed American firms. In response, the Chinese announced tariffs of its own on $US50 billion worth of US goods.
Despite discussions, the first wave of tariffs went into effect in July and soon after Trump announced a second wave of tariffs on an additional $US200 billion worth of Chinese goods. That set was imposed in late September, while the Chinese replied with tariffs on another $US60 billion worth of American goods.
Formal talks to deescalate the trade war between the two countries have been few and far between, with both sides trading nontrade blows as well. For example, Trump pulled the US out of a 144-year-old international postal treaty that made it cheaper for Chinese companies to ship goods to the US.
Following the Bloomberg report, US stock indexes slipped into the red for the first time on Monday. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 400 points, or 1.6%, as of 3:37 p.m. ET, which was nearly 700 points from its high-water mark for the day. Similarly, the tech-heavy Nasdaq was down 188 points, or just over 2.6%, and the S&P 500 was down 28 points, or 1.1%.
Here’s a timeline of the US-China trade war so far:
- March 1: Trump announces tariffs on all imports of steel and aluminium, including metals from China.
- March 22: Trump announces plans to impose a 25% tariff on $US50 billion worth of Chinese goods. China announces tariffs in retaliation to the steel and aluminium duties and promises a response to the latest US announcement.
- April 3: The US trade representative announces a list of Chinese goods subject to the tariffs. There is a mandatory 60-day comment period for industries to ask for exemptions from the tariffs.
- April 4: China rolls out a list of more than 100 US goods worth roughly $US50 billion that are subject to retaliatory tariffs.
- May 21: After a meeting, the two countries announce the outline of a trade deal to avoid the tariffs.
- May 29: The White House announces that the tariffs on $US50 billion worth of Chinese goods will move forward, with the final list of goods released June 15. The move appears to wreck the nascent trade deal.
- June 15: Trump rolls out the final list of goods subject to new tariffs. Chinese imports worth $US34 billion would be subject to the new 25% tariff as of July 6, with another $US16 billion worth of imports subject to the tariff at a later date.China retaliates with an equivalent set of tariffs.
- June 18: Trump threatens a 10% tariff on another $US200 billion worth of Chinese goods.
- July 6: The first tranche of tariffs on $US34 billion worth of Chinese goods takes effect; China responds in kind.
- July 10: The US releases an initial list of an additional $US200 billion worth of Chinese goods that could be subject to a 10% tariff.
- August 1: Washington more than doubles the value of its tariff threats against Beijing, announcing plans to increase the size of proposed duties on $US200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25% from 10%.
- August 3: China says it will impose tariffs of various rates on another $US60 billion worth of US goods if Trump moves forward with his latest threat.
- August 7: The US announces that the second tranche of tariffs, which will hit $US16 billion worth of Chinese goods, will go into effect on August 23.
- August 23: The US imposes tariffs on another $US16 billion worth of Chinese goods, and Beijing responds with tariffs on $US16 billion worth of US goods.
- September 7: Trump says the tranche of tariffs on $US200 billion worth of Chinese goods is coming “soon” and threatens to impose tariffs on another $US267 billion worth of Chinese goods.
- September 17: Trump announces 10% tariffs on $US200 billion worth of Chinese goods, saying China has “been unwilling to change its practices.”
- September 18: China says it has “no choice” but to retaliate to the fresh tariffs “to safeguard its legitimate rights and interests.” It announces tariffs on $US60 billion worth of US goods sent to China.
- September 22:China cancels planned talks between mid-level Chinese officials and Treasury Department representatives.
- September 24: The second round of tariffs goes into effect.
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