Impose Tariffs on Chinese Imports

Current Status: In Progress

As of

"The only power that we have with China, is massive trade... I would do a tariff, yes — and they do it to us.... I would do a tax. and the tax, let me tell you what the tax should be … the tax should be 45 percent" 
- Donald Trump interview with The New York Times, January 2016

"The 45 percent is a threat that if they don't behave, if they don't follow the rules and regulations so that we can have it equal on both sides, we will tax you. It doesn't have to be 45, it could be less. But it has to be something because our country and our trade and our deals and most importantly our jobs are going to hell." 
- Donald Trump at the Republican Debate, March 2016

After many months of vacillation and ongoing trade negotiations, in May 2018, the administration announced a 25% tariff on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods focused on the tech sectors and high-growth industries identified in China's "Made in China 2025" program. The final announcement is supposed to be released on June 15th with no firm date on implementation of any tariffs. Also, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said tariffs on Chinese goods were "on hold," presumably due to his imminent trade negotiations in China in mid-June.

Puzzlingly, the announcement comes on the heels of an administration-negotiated easing of sanctions on Chinese phone manufacturer ZTE. As of this time it is unclear whether the tariffs are simply a negotiating ploy or a true threat.

 

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