Trump is set to announce the tariffs on 100 different types of Chinese goods today, as follow up to the section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 investigation. Bloomberg reported that the targeted amount would be at around USD 50b annually. White House official Raj Shah also said in a statement that “tomorrow the president will announce the actions he has decided to take based on USTR’s 301 investigation into China’s state-led, market-distorting efforts to force, pressure, and steal U.S. technologies and intellectual property.” It’s believed that the tariffs won’t take effect immediately. And the list of targeted products will be finalized after industry input. But it’s only confirmed when it’s confirmed.
On the other hand, China is readying retaliation measures. But before that, China’s Ministry of Commerce pointed to WTO ruling against the Obama-era anti-subsidy tariffs. Back in 2012, China went to WTO to challenge U.S. anti-subsidy tariffs on Chinese exports including solar panels, wind turbines, steel cylinders and aluminum extrusions. And, the WTO ruled the United States had not fully complied with a 2014 ruling against its anti-subsidy tariffs on a range of Chinese products
The MOFCOM criticized that the US has “violated WTO rules, repeatedly abused trade remedy measures, which has seriously damaged the fair and just nature of the international trade environment and weakened the stability of the multilateral trading system.” THe MOFCOM also pledged to oppose “protectionism by the US ahead of any possible trade measures against China” and to ” take all necessary measures to resolutely protect its interests”
Separately, a former vice commerce minister and now an executive deputy director of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, Wei Jianguo, warned that “if Trump really signs the order, that is a declaration of trade war with China.” Wei said “China is not afraid, nor will it dodge a trade war.” And, there are “plenty of measures to fight back, in areas of automobile imports, soybean, aircraft and chips.