Chinese government increases 128 U.S. products tariffs, including pork and certain fruits. This is a direct response to President Trump’s recent moves to pursue numerous trade restrictions against Beijing.
If U.S. goods become more expensive in China, Chinese buyers could opt to purchase products from Europe, South America or elsewhere.
A number of U.S. business groups have warned that these tariffs could backfire because they could make it harder for American companies to sell goods overseas if other nations retaliate. However Trump and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross have expressed doubt that the impact of these moves would be considerable.
China exported $505 billion in goods to the U.S., and U.S. companies exported $135 billion in goods to China in 2017. Trump says the difference between these two numbers is too large and should be eliminated or at least greatly diminished.
A number of U.S. agriculture firms have warned they could be caught in the middle of a trade war, particularly if Trump follows through on threats against China and Mexico.
The National Pork Producers Council said in late March that its members exported $1.1 billion in pork to China last year, making it the third-largest market.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has spent months trying to renegotiate NAFTA with Canada and Mexico. China though appears to be the first country to react to Trump’s trade threats, putting pressure on leaders in Washington and Beijing to anticipate each other’s next moves quickly.