Yahoo News explains: Why is the U.S. in a trade war with China?

By Dean Arrindell

On Monday, President Trump announced tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports. This comes on top of the $50 billion to $60 billion in Chinese import tariffs announced this March. The tariffs announced Monday are scheduled to take effect on Sept. 24 at 10%, and rise to 25% on Jan. 1.

The tariffs exclude 300 items that could have been subject to tariffs, including smartphones, bike helmets, infant car seats and certain chemicals.

China responded Tuesday, threatening to impose tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods. The country has already imposed $50 billion in tariffs that target some of Trump’s voter base, including farmers.

Trump claims that China is trying to influence the U.S. election by focusing on farmers, ranchers and others through tariffs.



Why is the U.S. in a trade war with China? Yahoo News explains.

Tariffs are taxes or fees placed on imported items. A trade war begins when countries impose retaliatory tariffs on them.

Trump spoke openly about trade long before he was president. In the 1980s, he often criticized Japan, saying, “They dump the cars and the VCRs and everything else.” Now he has turned his attention on trade to other countries, including China, because he believes the U.S. is not being treated fairly.

Trump has criticized the U.S. trade gap with China, which was $505.5 billion last year, according to census data. His administration has accused China of stealing intellectual property, restricting access to the Chinese market and requiring American companies to hand over technology.

What are possible implications of the trade war? While these tariffs are imposed to hurt Chinese manufacturers, they could also hurt American companies and consumers by raising the cost of producing goods and raising prices for consumers. And some economists warn that the tariffs could hurt U.S. economic growth.

The tariffs imposed on Monday excluded 300 items from a previous list of items that were subject to tariffs, including smartphones, bike helmets, infant car seats and certain chemicals.

Talks in May between high-level U.S. and Chinese officials ended without an agreement. Both sides say they want talks to continue.