China has massively angered Donald Trump by announcing new punitive tariffs. The US has now tightened punitive tariffs against China and is threatening massive consequences.
On Saturday night, the US tightened its punitive tariffs against the country in response to the retaliatory tariffs imposed by China. Earlier, Donald Trump had responded to the Chinese government’s announcement of new punitive tariffs with a series of tweets. The U.S. doesn’t need China and will “command” U.S. firms to leave China soon. America will be better off without China, the US president wrote. “We don’t need China and, frankly, we would be better off without them,” he wrote.
U.S. companies are “ordered to seek immediate alternatives to China” and to return products back to home in the U.S., Trump said. He gave no details on how he plans to enforce the order. The US president cannot force American companies to leave China. Major stock indexes on Wall Street fell one percentage point after the latest tweets.
“We want this to stop”
Shortly before departing for the G7 summit in France, Trump declared that the US had “something to do with China” with “and we will win.” China has exploited the United States for many years. “We want this to stop.” Trump struggled to minimize the recent impact of the dispute on the stock markets while saying that tariffs are good for the US and bring a lot of money to the country. He also stressed that the Chinese wanted to continue negotiating a possible trade agreement between the two countries and that he was ready to talk here: “I am always open to talks.”
The Chinese government announced on Friday countermeasures to the latest U.S. tariff plans. Beijing plans to impose new levies of between five and 10 percent on American goods worth about 75 billion dollars, the Commerce Department announced. They will apply from 1 September and 15 December respectively. More than 5,000 U.S. products such as cars, auto parts, agricultural products, small planes, and oil are affected. The announcement shocked the stock markets.
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The world’s two largest economic powers have been imposing reciprocal import tariffs for months. Most recently, Trump, who accuses China of unfair trade practices, had exacerbated the conflict in early August, despite new talks, announcing that he would impose special tariffs on imports from China worth 300 billion dollars. However, he postponed the introduction of the new levies. They were supposed to take effect from September. China reserved countermeasures.
Trump adviser wants to calm tempers
Trump’s trade adviser, Peter Navarro, sought to downplay the announcement of Chinese tariffs. “It’s important that no one gets too upset, especially as it’s a well-announced step,” he told CNN. Negotiations on a trade agreement continued as planned.
The trade dispute is also expected to occupy the G-7 leaders in Biarritz over the weekend. China is not invited to the summit of leading Western industrialized countries. The trade conflict is dragging down the global economy and affecting all nations, especially export-oriented ones such as Germany.
Trump has also unraveled trade disputes with allies, such as the European Union. If negotiations fail to reach an agreement by November, the US will face punitive tariffs on EU car imports. This would be painfully for German manufacturers.