US to Impose New Tariffs on $300 Billion of Chinese Goods Starting September 1

August 2, 2019 by Dan McCue
From left, China's President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump shake hands on Nov. 9, 2017, during a meeting outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. (Artyom Ivanov/Tass/Abaca Press/TNS)

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump announced Thursday the U.S. is placing an additional 10% tariff on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods, effective September 1.

“Trade talks are continuing, and during the talks the U.S. will start, on September 1st, putting a small additional tariff of 10% on the remaining $300 billion of goods and products coming from China into our country,” Trump said in the first of a series of tweets Thursday afternoon.

The president then went on to criticize China for allegedly not following through on promises to buy agricultural products from the U.S. in large quantities, and for failing to stop the sale of Fentanyl to the United States.

Nevertheless, Trump concluded “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!”

The tweets killed an early day rally for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and put downward pressure on both Nasdaq and the S&P 500.

Earlier this week, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer traveled to Shanghai to continue trade talks with China’s vice premier, Liu He, and a team of government ministers.

In a muted statement the White House said the two sides have discussed a range of topics, including forced technology transfer, intellectual property rights, services, non-tariff barriers, and agriculture.

The statement described the talks as “constructive” and said negotiations are expected to resume in Washington, D.C. in early September.

On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve cut its key interest rate for the first time in a decade in part to counter the impact of Trump’s trade wars.

“Weak global growth and trade tensions are having an effect on the U.S. economy,” Fed Chairman Jerome Powell told reporters.

Powell also said that sluggishness in some sectors of the U.S. economy, like manufacturing, along with inflation chronically below the Fed’s target level justify the “insurance of a rate cut now.”

Yet he insisted Wednesday’s action was “not the beginning of a long series of rate cuts.”

“When you think about rate-cutting cycles, they go on for a long time, and the committee is not seeing that — not seeing us in that place. You would do that if you saw real economic weakness,” he said.

Trump has also gone so far this week as to accuse China of wanting to stall trade negotiations through the 2020 election in hopes of being able to negotiate with a more easy-going Democratic president.

“China would love to wait and just hope,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Tuesday.

“They would just love if I got defeated so they could deal with somebody like Elizabeth Warren or Sleepy Joe Biden … They’ll pray that Trump loses. And then they’ll make a deal with a stiff, somebody that doesn’t know what they’re doing like Obama and Biden, like all the presidents before,” Trump said.

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