WHAT: President Donald J. Trump’s Administration is taking action to address China’s unfair trade practices, including the forced transfer of United States technology and theft of U.S. intellectual property.
The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced an initial proposed list of Chinese goods imports that could be subject to additional tariffs. The initial list included approximately 1,300 tariff lines valued at an estimated $50 billion. In order to develop the initial proposed list, USTR worked with other agencies to identify products that unfairly benefit from China’s industrial policies. Further, there was extensive interagency analysis to ensure these tariffs maximize pressure on China to change its behavior, while minimizing the impact on the U.S. economy.
The initial proposed list will now undergo an extensive public comment period and public hearing. Once this process is complete, USTR will make a final determination on the proper response.
Instead of addressing its misconduct, China has retaliated against American farmers and manufacturers. President Trump has therefore directed USTR to determine if an additional $100 billion worth of tariffs would be appropriate under section 301. Any additional tariffs would be subject to a similar review and public comment period as the initial list.
President Trump has instructed the Secretary of Agriculture to use his broad authority to implement a plan to protect American farmers and agriculture.
In addition to this week’s tariff announcements, USTR has initiated a WTO dispute against China for its unfair practices, is examining potential restrictions on Chinese investment, and is working with allies also affected by China’s unfair behavior to restore fairness to global trade.
WHY: President Trump’s trade actions are a response to years of unfair trade practices by China that have gone unaddressed.
Year after year, China continues to distort global markets and harm U.S. businesses and consumers with unfair trade practices. For example, China’s unfair industrial policies, like their “Made in China 2025” policy initiative, clearly state China’s goal of taking away domestic and international market share from foreigners. Members of all political parties, the U.S. business community, and workers around the world are concerned about China’s behavior.
President Trump has made it clear that the United States can no longer tolerate such behavior and he is following through on his pledge to take action to ensure that China finally plays by the rules. While previous Administrations let China’s actions go unanswered, President Trump is standing up for American workers to ensure that American businesses are treated fairly and lawfully.
The President is for free trade, but it must also be fair trade. Addressing unfair trade practices and ensuring that global trade is free, fair, and reciprocal will have a significant positive long-term impact on the U.S. economy.
The Administration’s responsive actions follow an extensive investigation by USTR, which revealed how China’s unfair policies and practices are harming American commerce. An interagency analysis concluded that these policies and practices cause at least tens of billions of dollars in damages to the United States every year.