If the US were to implement the full $200 billion of tariffs, it would be the biggest shot fired thus far in the trade war, and China would almost certainly reciprocate with more tariffs on US goods. However, since China only imports $130 billion of US goods, they wouldn’t be able to respond tit-for-tat, but could use other avenues to reciprocate.
Trump has indicated that he is ready to implement tariffs on the full $500 billion of US imports from China.
“I’m not doing this for politics — I’m doing this to do the right thing for our country,” Trump said. “We have been ripped off by China for a long time.”
Despite Trump’s objections, many are unsure of what tangible outcomes the administration is aiming for.
“In forming an assessment of what comes next in the escalation of tit-for-tat trade restrictions between the U.S. and China, we need to have a view on the goals of Trump trade policy,” said a Barclays economist in a report. “Unfortunately, we admit that we lack a clear understanding of the U.S. administration’s primary objective.”
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