Unhappy with the progress of trade talks with China, President Trump will slap a 10% tariff on $300 billion worth of goods from China starting Sept. 1.
In a series of tweets Aug. 1, Trump said China had reneged on previous commitments to buy more U.S. farm products.
“We thought we had a deal with China three months ago, but sadly, China decided to re-negotiate the deal prior to signing,” Trump said in a tweet. “More recently, China agreed to buy agricultural products from the U.S. in large quantities, but did not do so.”
Trump said trade talks with China will continue while the U.S. will tag Chinese imports worth $300 billion with a 10% tariff starting Sept. 1. The new tariff is in addition to the $250 billion in Chinese imports already under a 25% tariff.
While some observers said Trump’s move seems to make trade tariffs and tension the “new normal” for the U.S. and China, Trump struck an optimistic note.
“We look forward to continuing our positive dialogue with China on a comprehensive trade deal, and feel that the future between our two countries will be a very bright one!” Trump said in another tweet.
Kate Tynan, senior vice president for the Yakima, Wash.-based Northwest Horticulturl Council, said Aug. 2 that the group was watching closely to see whether China would impose any further retaliatory tariffs on U.S. exports in response to the new U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods.
U.S. exports of farm goods to China have suffered since the two countries have exchanged tariff hikes since last spring.
On May 10 last year, President Trump increased duties on $200 billion worth of Chinese products from 10% to 25%, and China retaliated in July last year with 40% retaliatory tariffs put in place against apples, cherries, pears and other commodities in response to U.S. Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs and Section 301 tariffs based on technology transfer concerns. That was in addition to an already existing 10% tariff for U.S. fruit imports.
For 2018, the USDA reported total U.S. agriculture exports to China were $13 billion, down sharply from nearly $24 billion in 2017.
U.S. fresh fruit exports to China and Hong Kong totaled $413 million in 2018, off from $517 million the year before.