No Free Trade Between U.S. and China as of September 1 -- Is That The Right Move?

No Free Trade Between U.S. and China as of September 1 -- Is That The Right Move?951
source: Pixabay

In a Twitter thread Thursday, President Trump announced that as of the next month, Washington would place tariffs on almost all Chinese products imported to the U.S. 

In other words, President Trump would impose a 10% tax on USD 300 billion in Chinese goods starting September 1. In practice, it means that as of the beginning of September, there would no be free trade between Washington and Beijing.

One of the first products to face penalties in a few weeks would include Chinese toys, clothing, shoes, and even iPhones. It would add to the already imposed tariffs of 25% on $250 billion worth of other Chinese-made goods announced in May. 

What has motivated our President to impose new tariffs? As he explained in a series of tweets, there were numerous reasons for his decision. At first place, U.S. and China have not been able to reach an agreement yet over a bilateral trade deal. 

Secondly, in Trump's words, Beijing failed to keep its promises of buying more American agricultural goods or stopping the export of fentanyl, the drug affecting the current opioid crisis in our country.

That is why President Trump decided to punish China further. At the same time, the relationship between Washington and Beijing remains rather friendly. Even in his latest tweets announcing the new tariffs, our President confirmed he was open to further negotiations with his Chinese colleague Xi Jinping.

President Trump explicitly mentioned that Washington is ready to continue the positive dialogue with China and reach an agreement on the much-anticipated trade deal. Our President also asserted that the future of our countries was bright.

Wang Yi, China's foreign minister, criticized the decision saying that imposing tariffs is arguably the right way to resolve trade conflicts.

Chad Bown, a senior economist at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, commented that the next round of tariffs was not a surprise. Bown also pointed out that the President did not seem to be concerned with the implications of the trade war.

The International Monetary Fund already warned Washington and Beijing that their trade conflict could decrease the  economic output by 0.5% in 2020, cutting the economic output by $455 billion.

The ongoing trade war between the two world's largest economies has negatively impacted the markets across the globe for the past year and a half. Negotiations between Washington and Beijing stalled in May after the Chinese President sent Trump a 150-page document to reportedly scrap 30% of the draft trade deal. In response to the unilateral move, President Trump imposed tariffs on $200 billion of imported Chinese goods to 25%. 

The bilateral relationship has worsened after our President blacklisted the Chinese tech firm Huawei.

What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with our President's decision to impose new tariffs on Chinese goods?