Trump to decide on new China tariffs following G20 summit, as tensions with Republicans rise

Melanie Schmitz

Melanie Schmitz Reporter, ThinkProgress

President Donald Trump said Thursday that he would decide whether to impose a new round of tariffs on $325 billion worth of Chinese goods following the G20 summit in Osaka at the end of June.

Trump’s comments came during a joint appearance with French President Emmanuel Macron, not long after the U.S. president announced he might ratchet up his trade war with China to “at least $300 billion” on Chinese goods.

“Our talks with China, a lot of interesting things are happening. We’ll see what happens… I could go up another at least $300 billion and I’ll do that at the right time,” he said earlier. “But I think China wants to make a deal […].”

During his joint press conference with Macron on Thursday, Trump was asked when he might impose those additional tariffs on China.

“When am I going to? I will make that decision I would say over the next two weeks. Probably right after the G20. One way or the other, I will make that decision after the G20. I will be meeting with President Xi and we’ll see what happens. But, probably planning it sometime after G20,” he said.

China’s Commerce Ministry was quick to respond, stating Thursday morning, “If the United States willfully decides to escalate tensions, we’ll fight to the end.”

Trump has been ramping up trade tensions with China for months now, and though he claimed Thursday that discussions with the country were ongoing, Reuters noted the two nations had not met since the president last slapped China with tariffs on $200 billion worth of imports on May 10.

China quickly retaliated, raising tariffs on $60 billion in U.S. goods in direct response to that move.

The president is currently engaged in a risky back and forth with Republican lawmakers, who say his decision to impose massive tariffs has hit their constituents and home states hard.

More recently, Trump announced he would impose a 5% tariff on all Mexican goods if the country did not do more crack down on immigration to the United States, with that number continuing to rise each month until it hits 25% on October 1. The White House has specifically said Mexico must do more to stop migrants crossing into the country from Guatemala and must be responsible for all those seeking asylum in the United States, ensuring they remain on the Mexican side of the southern border as they await their cases. Additionally, the White House said Mexico must work to crack down on transnational gang activity.

As Politico notes, experts say such a move would likely endanger U.S. businesses — with some choosing to eat the costs before passing them onto consumers — as well as the economy. Despite this, Trump has claimed the tariffs will actually work in the United States’ favor.

“The higher the Tariffs go, the higher the number of companies that will move back to the USA,” he tweeted earlier in the week.

Meanwhile, Senate Republicans are weighing whether to try to block Trump’s tariffs, threatening to embarrass Trump.

“Tariffs are not the right way to go and there’s no reason that millions of farmers and ranchers and manufacturers and small businesses in Texas should pay the price and face billions in additional taxes,” Texas Sen. Tex Cruz (R) said this week.

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) echoed that sentiment. “I’m not in favor of this. The president needs to rethink it,” she said. “The president needs to understand that we’re opposed to these tariffs. We don’t think it’s a smart way forward. The president has his own opinion, he’s a tariff guy but I think we have a lot of folks in opposition.”

Some Republicans have rejected that pushback, however, stating their loyalty to the president, whose tariffs they claimed were working.

“We’re making a mistake if we oppose the tariffs,” said Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC). “Because we’re already seeing positive movement. You could lead Mexico to believe that all they have to do is wait out a resolution of disapproval. So I think it slows down the pace of negotiations.”

This article has been updated to clarify that the proposed 5% tariff on Mexican goods would increase each month up to 25% in October. 


Reposted from ThinkProgress

Posted In: Allied Approaches

Union Matters

Steel for Wind Power

From the USW

From tumbledown bridges to decrepit roads and failing water systems, crumbling infrastructure undermines America’s safety and prosperity. In coming weeks, Union Matters will delve into this neglect and the urgent need for a rebuilding campaign that creates jobs, fuels economic growth and revitalizes communities. 

Siemens Gamesa last month laid off 130 workers at its turbine blade manufacturing plant in Iowa, just months after GE Renewable Energy decided to close an Arkansas factory and eliminate 470 jobs.

The companies reported shrinking demand for their products, even though U.S. consumption of wind energy increases every year.

America’s prosperity depends not only on harnessing this crucial energy source but also ensuring that highly skilled U.S. workers build the components with the cleanest technology available.

Right now, the nation relies on imported steel and turbine components from foreign manufacturers like China while America’s own steel industry—well equipped for this production—struggles because of dumping and other unfair trade practices.

Steel makes up the bulk of turbine hubs and the wind towers themselves. It’s also used to make the cranes and platforms necessary for installing the towers.

Yet the potential boon to America’s steel industry is just one reason to ramp up domestic production of wind energy infrastructure.

American steel production ranks among the cleanest in the world, while China has the highest carbon emissions of any steelmaking nation and flouts environmental regulations.

The nation’s highly-skilled steelmaking workforce must play an essential role in the deeply-needed revitalization and modernization of the nation’s failing infrastructure. Producing the components for harnessing wind energy domestically and cleanly is an important step that will put Americans to work and position the United States to be world leaders in this growing industry.


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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work