President Donald Trump will push through with his plans to levy heavy tariffs on Chinese goods. The tariffs could be implemented within a few days and would affect Chinese goods estimated to be worth billions of dollars. China is a key ally of North Korea. The decision to impose punishing tariffs on China may hinder the United States’ efforts to achieve lasting peace in the Korean peninsula.
It was earlier estimated that total tariffs on Chinese products would reach $35 to $40 Billion. However, officials close to the Trump administration have revised these numbers upward to $55 Billion.
Once the tariffs have taken effect, the United States should expect retaliatory action from China. Over the past few weeks, Trump has been on a rampage. He has imposed tariffs on steel and aluminium products coming from Canada, the European Union, and Mexico.
The EU, Canada, and Mexico immediately retaliated with tariffs on U.S. products. The latest round of tariffs on China may trigger a dangerous trade war with one of the world’s biggest economy.
Geng Shuang, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman issued a statement that China would respond with its own round of tariffs on U.S. goods and “take necessary measures to defend our legitimate rights and interests.” It was reported in some media outlets that China is planning to impose a total of $50 Billion worth of tariffs on U.S. goods.
The timing of the tariffs may not have come at a worse time. Last June 12, Trump has a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The purpose of the long- awaited summit was to push North Korea toward complete denuclearization and China has been instrumental in back-door negotiations.
However, President Trump has remained committed in his decision to impose the severe tariffs on China:
“I have to do what I have to do. The U.S. has a tremendous trade deficit with China and we have to do something about it. We can’t continue to let that happen.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Chinese President Xi Jinping to discuss trade concerns. It is not known if Pompeo informed President Xi that tariffs against their products were forthcoming:
“I stressed how important it is for President Trump to rectify that situation so that trade becomes more balanced, more reciprocal and more fair, with the opportunity to have American workers be treated fairly.”