Trump Set to Impose Trade Tariffs

Posted on May 17, 2018 by


President Trump delivered the news of a possible trade war with China on Twitter. An examination by the right-leaning Tax Foundation said that, in 2018, more than a quarter of the gains from the tax law could be lost because of the new tariffs.

“A trade war is a back-and-forth dispute where a country imposes tariffs on certain imports in order to restrict trade”, CNN said. In response, the country or countries affected by those tariffs inflict their own fees on imports. In simpler words, tariffs are fees or taxes added on certain products when imported into a country. A possible trade war between the United States and China could shake certain American businesses and force consumers to pay more for products, such as electronics, food, and clothing.

Usually in a trade measure like this, the U.S. President would announce the tariffs but say they don’t apply to Canada, Mexico, and other allies. But as of now, no countries have been exempted from the tariffs. President George W. Bush last applied sweeping steel tariffs in 2002, but he exempted Canada and Mexico because the US has a critical trade agreement with them, NAFTA. (Those tariffs were dropped a year later when the World Trade Organization ruled them illegal.) Trump’s rhetoric on trade has been mainly pointed toward China. But these tariffs would hit the United State’s top allies harder than China.

Many of the farmers who helped propel Donald Trump to the presidency fear becoming pawns in his escalating trade war, which threatens markets for soybeans, corn, and other lifeblood crops in the upper Midwest.

When China threatened a 25% tariff on soybeans, Mike Petefish, who grows the crop over 2,000 acres, feared the worst. Soybeans are a $2 billion business in Minnesota.

“It’s going to hurt American farmers, no doubt about it,” Jarous Valenec, a 43-year old dairy farmer who will be affected by these new tariffs said.

Congressional aides say Trump’s tariffs will be the hot topic of conversation at party caucus meetings being held soon, even as they wonder what advantage they can apply on a president who vowed to put his stamp on trade.

“I don’t know there’s much you can do there,” one senior Senate GOP aide said.

Democrats and Republicans alike believe November’s midterm elections will be about Trump’s presidency.

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