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Riley Walters is a policy analyst in the Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy at The Heritage Foundation.
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative will soon be imposing an additional 25 percent tax on $50 billion worth of goods Americans buy from China.
Reason - White - House - Factors - China
The reason given by the White House is multifaceted, including factors from addressing China’s intellectual property theft and technology transfer requirements to unfair competition and an uneven balance of trade.
Making trade less free through new taxes on imports, however, will have minimum impact in any of these areas. More than anything else it will hurt the American economy.
Trade - Negotiations - Washington - Beijing - Trip
Ongoing trade negotiations between Washington and Beijing have been rough. A recent trip to Beijing by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross resulted in a proposal by Beijing to purchase up to $70 billion worth of U.S. goods—mostly in agriculture, energy, and some manufactured goods.
This was apparently not enough for the administration—which is actually good, because it would have done nothing to get at the structural market access issues that are a leading problem. National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow, in fact, has indicated that the White House may now be more interested in these structural changes in China than outright purchases.
White - House - Tariffs - American - Jobs
The White House has suggested these tariffs will protect American jobs. Yet, one study estimates the effect the initial list of tariffs (and retaliatory tariffs) will have is a loss of roughly 134,000 American jobs, the biggest job losses being in the agriculture and service sector industries. Any further escalation in tariffs could put as many as 450,000 American jobs at risk.
Until the U.S. and Beijing can come to an agreement, those impacted by tariffs will lobby politicians to for exclusions, tax breaks, and subsidies—creating even greater unfairness in the market. Other countries like Canada, those in the European Union,...
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