Since his election campaigning days, Donald Trump has been very vocal about how he is not in favor of the US and China trade relations. He made several statements like “China is neither an ally or a friend–they want to beat us and own our country.” He maligned China more than any other country during his campaign. Even then, he did not take any step against China during the first year of his presidency, something that he pledged during his entire campaign duration.
He even visited China on the first anniversary of his election and was welcomed with opened arms.Now, just as he completed one year as president, Donald Trump, on January 23rd, 2018 has imposed high tariff on a range of products – solar panels and washing machines – imported from China. The main reason for taking this step is to protect the American manufacturers against low-priced foreign imports. This is the first step in Trump’s ‘America First’ approach and it proved that the administration would “always defend American workers, farmers, ranchers and businessmen.”(Should I write about how the tariff will work? And which companies asked for it? – will increase plagiarism)The immediate impact of this move was that Whirlpool’s shares rose by 5% and they plan to hire 200 more people immediately.This move has also received a lot of backlash, not just from China and South Korea, who are major exporters and will suffer because of this tariff, but also environmentalists, who believe that increased price of solar panels will negatively impact the uptake of renewable energy in the US. China, along with other countries is planning to go to WTO (World Trade Organization) and complain against this extreme step. Samsung, a South Korea based washing machine manufacturer, called the tariffs a tax on every consumer who wants to buy a washing machine”.
Meanwhile China, the world’s biggest solar panel manufacturer, said the move would further damage the global trade environment.China has in the past threatened the interests of US based corporates. The trade war that US has started, will have economic consequences. A few things that China might do, apart from going to the WTO, are halting the imports of soybean and maize from the US and replacing Boeing orders with Airbus. Even the sales of iPhone and US auto will suffer setback in China. Chinese government can also ask Chinese tourists to not visit the US, and US could lose out a lot.Both China and US will be impacted by this trade war. The US government has estimated that just under a million American jobs are supported by trade.
The tariff will be a tax on every product the consumer purchases. People will pay more and have fewer choices. On the other hand, China is the biggest exporter of solar panels and it will now have to dump the products in another country.