The Donald Trump regime brought in a climate of uncertainty to international trade. While hopes are high that many concerns would be addressed in the G20 summit, here’s a quick roundup of the trade war by the US and some of the tariffs slapped by Washington this year.
On January 22, a safeguard action was taken by the Trump administration to aid US-made Whirlpool and GE Appliances. 20-50% tariffs on imported washing machines came into force. The latter, however, is a unit of Haier Group based in China.
Another 30% tariffs were imposed on imported solar panels on the same day, and it hit overseas giants such as JinkoSolar (JKS.)
On March 23, Washington imposed a 25% tariff on imported steel and 10% on imported aluminum citing national security. While Argentina, South Korea, Brazil and Australia were granted exemptions, quota negotiations continue with the European Union, Canada and Mexico.
In two phases on July 6 and August 23, Chinese tech items — semiconductors, autos, aircraft parts, electronic components and machinery — worth $50 billion were slapped with 25% tariffs on account of a probe into Chinese intellectual property stances.
On August 14, The United States hiked its duty by double on Turkish steel (50%) and aluminum (20%) percent, amid diplomatic tensions over the detention of an American pastor. Turkey, in turn, slapped tariffs US products worth on $1.8 billion.
While the Chinese retaliated to Trump’s trade jibes, it was met with another 10% tariff on Chinese goods worth $200 billion that included furniture, consumer electronics, and building materials. This imposition on September 24 is expected to hike to 25% on January 1, 2019.
Trump looks to slap additional tariffs to rest of the items from China if talks with the Asian giant do not go well.
Reports are in that the US is also musing on a 25% tariff on imported cars and auto parts. A study by the US Department of Commerce is underway to see if such imports are a threat to national security. The US is also likely to match the 40% import tariff on US-made cars in China. Right now, Washington charges just 27.5% on Chinese vehicles. This move could, however, not affect Canada and Mexico due to the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement trade deal, and Trump has expressively stated that Japan and the EU would be freed from the imposition of auto tariffs.