U.S. Confront China’s Unfair Trade Practices

The U.S. President Donald Trump campaigned on a promise to confront China’s currency manipulation, IP theft, dumping, and other unfair trade practices. Today, the White House said in a statement, the administration would proceed with its proposal to impose 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion worth of goods from China, and place new limits on Chinese investments in US high-tech industries, days after the two sides reached an agreement and vowed not to launch a trade war against each other. The final list of covered imports will be announced by June 15, and tariffs will be imposed on those imports shortly thereafter.

The U.S. President Donald Trump has been seeking Chinese agreement to reduce the $375 billion U.S. goods trade deficit and to drop trade practices that he said hurt American companies. In August 2017, the Administration initiated a Section 301 investigation into China’s practices related to forced technology transfer, unfair licensing, and intellectual property policies. After USTR completed its Section 301 report in March 2018, the President directed the agencies to explore numerous actions to protect domestic technology and intellectual property.

Under President Trump’s leadership:

The United States will impose a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion of goods imported from China containing industrially significant technology, including those related to the “Made in China 2025” program. The final list of covered imports will be announced by June 15, 2018. USTR will continue WTO dispute settlement against China originally initiated in March to address China’s discriminatory technology licensing requirements. The United States will implement specific investment restrictions and enhanced export controls for Chinese persons and entities related to the acquisition of industrially significant technology. The list of restrictions and controls will be announced by June 30, 2018.

China’s commerce ministry responded immediately, saying the move “clearly contradicts the consensus reached by China and the US in Washington recently”. “China is confident, capable and experienced to defend Chinese people’s interests and national core interests, regardless of whatever measures the US side could take,” the ministry said in an official statement.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue issued the following statement regarding the administration’s decision to impose $50 billion of tariffs on Chinese imports:

The U.S. Chamber supports the administration’s ongoing efforts to deal with China’s unfair trade practices and policies. However, we continue to believe that the use of tariffs puts all the burden on American companies and consumers. The administration’s decision to impose tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese products is in fact a tax on American consumers and will undermine the competitiveness of American companies, just as the administration’s steel tariffs have dramatically raised prices on steel in the United States.

The list of targeted goods will be made public on June 15, and investment restrictions and export controls are to be announced on June 30. The tariffs, to be levied under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, and restrictions will be imposed “shortly” after the announcement.

To further information visit www.whitehouse.gov.