Donald Trump to impose tariffs on remaining imports from China

The US president has declared new tariffs on further billions of Chinese goods, less than a day after ramping up duties on a range of imports. China and the US had been holding talks to avoid a trade dispute escalation.

US President Donald Trump began the process of ramping up tariffs on almost all of China's remaining imports after trade talks between the two countries ended on Friday.

The move came less than a day after Washington hit Chinese imports to the US worth about $200 billion (€178 billion) annually. The new increase applies to an even greater value of goods — estimated to be about $300 billion. 

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a statement that Trump had "ordered us to begin the process of raising tariffs on essentially all remaining imports from China."

Chinese and US representatives met in Washington over two days, ending on Friday, with plans for further talks to be held in China. 

Trump tweeted that there was "no need to rush" to get a deal on Friday. He added that the tariffs "may or may not be removed depending on what happens with respect to future negotiations."

Read more: Trump's China tariffs are about more than just trade

According to the editor-in-chief of China's Global Times newspaper, Hu Xijin, this week's talks did not break down. "Both sides think that the talks are constructive and will continue consultations. The two sides agree to meet again in Beijing in the future," Hu said.

Trump's tariffs and who they target

Solar panels and washing machines

The first round of tariffs in 2018 were on all imported washing machines and solar panels — not just those from China. A study by economists from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Columbia University, and Princeton University found that the burden of Trump's tariffs — including taxes on steel, aluminum, solar panels falls entirely on US consumers and businesses who buy imported products.

Trump's tariffs and who they target

China hike

On Friday May 10, 2019 President Donald Trump imposed sanctions on $200 billion (€178 billion) worth of Chinese goods. The move rasied tariffs from 10% to 25% on a range of consumer products, including cell phone, computers and toys. China's Commerce Ministry said it "deeply regrets" the US decision.

Trump's tariffs and who they target

Issues with the EU

In April 2019, the United States said it wanted to put tariffs on $11.2 billion worth of goods from the EU. The list includes helicopters and aircraft from Airbus as well as European exports like: famous cheeses like Stilton, Roquefort and Gouda, wines and oysters, ceramics, knives and pajamas.

Trump's tariffs and who they target

EU fights back

The EU imposed import duties of 25% on a $2.8 billion range of imports from the United States in retaliation for US tariffs on European steel and aluminum. Targeted US products include Harley-Davidson motorcycles, bourbon, peanuts, blue jeans, steel and aluminum.

Trump's tariffs and who they target

European automakers next?

May 17, 2019 is the deadline for President Trump to decide on imposing tariffs on vehicle imports from the EU. According to diplomats, Germany, whose exports of cars and parts to the United States are more than half the EU total, wants to press ahead with talks to ward off tariffs on automakers Volkswagen, Mercedes and BMW.

Trump's tariffs and who they target

India not exempt

India, the world's biggest buyer of US almonds, on June 21, 2018 raised import duties on the nuts by 20% and increased tariffs on a range of other farm products and US iron and steel, in retaliation for US tariffs on Indian steel. Trump said last month that he would end preferential trade treatment for India, which would result in US tariffs on up to $5.6 billion of imports from India.

Trump's tariffs and who they target

North American neighbors in tariff spat

Mexico on June 5, 2018 imposed tariffs of up to 25% on American steel, pork, cheese, apples, potatoes and bourbon, in retaliation for US tariffs on Mexican metals. While to the north, Canada on July 1 imposed tariffs on $12.6 billion worth of U.S. goods, including steel, aluminum, coffee, ketchup and bourbon whiskey in retaliation for US tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum.

A range of consumer products — including cell phones, computers, clothing and toys — were hit by the tariff rate increases from 10% to 25% on Friday. Auto parts were also included.

US authorities have said the tariff rate will not apply to goods that have already left China's ports. Shipping goods from China to the US takes between three and four weeks, so the caveat gives the negotiators extra time to overcome the crisis.

Trump announced the initial set of tariff hikes on Sunday, expressing frustration with the pace of the talks.

Chinese officials responded by vowing that they would take the "necessary countermeasures."

New ways to retaliate

Beijing has already imposed tariffs on some $110 billion worth of US goods exported to China in response to duties Washington imposed on its products last year. However, the total annual value of US goods exported to China is $120.3 billion — meaning China doesn't have much scope to use tariffs to hit back.

Read more: Opinion: Xi Jinping is taking China down a dangerous path

Instead, it may look at other ways to penalize US companies that have dealings within its territory.

Tension between the US and China has heightened after the White House accused Beijing of watering down commitments to trade reform.

China had wanted to delete commitments that Chinese laws would be changed to enact new policies on a range of issues, including the protection of intellectual property.

rc/sms (Reuters, AP, dpa)

Each evening at 1830 UTC, DW's editors send out a selection of the day's hard news and quality feature journalism. You can sign up to receive it directly here.

Related content