Trump Readies a Hefty Penalty on China

President prepares to unveil $60B in tariffs despite concern from US businesses
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 20, 2018 10:30 AM CDT
Workers check on panels at a factory in Jiujiang in central China's Jiangxi province.   (Chinatopix via AP)

(Newser) – President Trump has long believed China engages in unfair trade practices with the US, and senior aides recently presented him with a proposal for $30 billion in annual tariffs against Beijing. Not good enough, said Trump, who ordered them to double the amount to $60 billion, reports the Washington Post. The president is expected to unveil the plan later this week, and Bloomberg confirms the $60 billion figure. While the president is doing this in the name of protecting businesses, some of the major US companies that deal with China—including Walmart and Amazon—are worried the tariffs will backfire by setting off retaliatory penalties from Beijing.

"Tariffs will do more harm than good in bringing about an improvement in intellectual property protection for American companies in China," John Frisbie, president of the US-China Business Council, tells the Post. "Business wants to see solutions to the issues, not just sanctions." The penalties will stem from an investigation by US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, who's expected to conclude that China forces companies to turn over information about their products if they want access to Chinese customers. The new tariffs would hit everything from consumer electronics products to clothing. (China says it doesn't want a trade war.)

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