China Responds by Raising Tariffs, Trump Pledges Another $15 Billion in Aid for Farmers

Posted on 05/13/2019 2:54 PM

China will raise tariffs on $60 billion of U.S. goods effective June 1, in retaliation to higher tariffs from the U.S. that went into effect on May 10, China’s Ministry of Finance announced today. It detailed that 2,493 goods will be subject to 25% tariffs, 1,078 items to 20% duties, 974 items to 10% tariffs and 595 items will continue to see 5% tariffs.

Also of note, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative today clarified that “products of China that are covered by the September 2018 action and that were exported to the United States prior to May 10, 2019, are not subject to the additional duty of 25%, as long as such products are entered into the United States prior to June 1, 2019. Such products remain subject to the additional duty of 10% for this interim period."

This afternoon, President Donald Trump said he has not yet made a decision about whether to go forward with tariffs on another $325 billion worth of Chinese goods. But he did take the initial steps that would be necessary for those to take effect last week after China reneged on a deal that Trump today said was 95% complete.

Trump also confirmed he plans to meet with China’s president at the G20 meeting next month. Many believe a meeting of Trump and China’s Xi Jinping is needed if a deal is to be reached.

In comments at the White House, Trump today said he plans to provide U.S. farmers with another $15 billion worth of aid, as China continues to this key component of Trump's base. “We're going to take the highest year, the biggest purchase that China has ever made with our farmers, which is about $15 billion, and do something reciprocal to our farmers so our farmers can do well,” he detailed, without providing additional details.

Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue on Friday said that he is working on a plan to aid farmers who have been one of the groups hardest hit by the trade war with China. Last year USDA provided farmers with $12 billion in assistance for dealing with the trade war.

But many farmers would prefer a resolution of trade issues, not more aid. And alarms are already sounding about the legality of another aid packages and the unintended consequences such programs often have. Find more on that here.

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