Already a bumpy ride, the trade war with China may be entering demolition derby mode.
In what was termed by U.S. trade officials as the “continuing response to China’s theft of American intellectual property and forced transfer of American technology,” the Office of the United States Trade Representative released a list of approximately $200 billion worth of Chinese imports that will be subject to additional tariffs.
So far this year, the U.S. has imposed tariffs on more than $250 billion in Chinese imports, according to Bloomberg.
The additional tariffs will be effective Sept. 24, and initially will be in the amount of 10 percent. Starting in January 2019, the tariff level will increase to 25%.
Media reports indicate China was responding with tariffs on $60 billion of U.S. exports, though no details of that reported action were available.
The U.S. move to add tariffs came after seven weeks of public notice, hearings, and extensive opportunities for comment on the additional proposed tariffs.
“China has had many opportunities to fully address our concerns,” President Trump said in a statement. “ Once again, I urge China’s leaders to take swift action to end their country’s unfair trade practices. Hopefully, this trade situation will be resolved, in the end, by myself and President Xi of China, for whom I have great respect and affection.”
The National Farm Bureau Federation said in a Sept. 17 statement that U.S. tariffs have sparked retaliatory tariffs that have hurt U.S. farmers.
“Farm Bureau urges our trade officials to engage in discussions with our trade partners to resolve trade concerns before resorting to tariffs. Tariffs targeting our largest agricultural export markets have resulted in retaliation against U.S. farmers, ranchers and agricultural and food businesses across the country,” the group said.
In response to U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum, in addition to those imposed on only China for violations related to U.S. intellectual property, Farm Bureau said China has imposed tariffs on more than 90% of U.S. agricultural exports to China.
As a result, Farm Bureau said China is expected to drop from being the second-largest market for U.S. agricultural goods now to the fifth largest in 2019
The latest U.S. tariff list targeting Chinese imports includes fresh mushrooms and a wide variety of fresh and processed fruits and vegetables.