President Donald Trump announced today the United States is imposing tariffs on an additional $50 billion worth of goods from China. In a statement released Friday morning by the White House, the president said he is taking the action “in light of China’s theft of intellectual property and technology and its other unfair trade practices.”
The announcement comes after a Section 301 investigation conducted by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), in which it “found that China’s acts, policies and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation are unreasonable and discriminatory, and burden U.S. commerce.”
USTR released the product lists for the $50 billion worth of Chinese imports that will be subject to the 25 percent tariff. U.S. Customs and Border Protection will begin to collect the additional duties on July 6, 2018.
In a speech June 15, the spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Commerce said the “United States has disregarded the consensus it has formed and is fickle, provoking a trade war…We will immediately introduce taxation measures of the same scale and the same strength.”
China announced on April 4 that it would retaliate with a 25 percent tariff on U.S. products if USTR implemented the 25 percent tariff under Section 301. The agricultural products targeted by China’s proposed tariff increases are U.S. soybeans, corn and corn products, wheat, sorghum, cotton, beef and beef products, cranberries, orange juice, and tobacco and tobacco products. China initially said its tariff on U.S. soybeans would be 25 percent.
Meanwhile, Brazil on June 7 reported that its exports of soybeans to China in May reached a monthly record of 9.76 million metric tons, nearly 80 percent of that country’s total export volume for the month. The figure eclipses the previous record by more than 1.4 million metric tons, which was set in April 2017.
Soybean stocks in China hit a record high of 8.18 million metric tons, according to China’s National Grain and Oil Information Centre, which it said is equivalent to a month’s worth of consumption.