President Donald Trump announced on Thursday afternoon that the United States would put 10 percent tariffs on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods, effective Sept. 1. The announcement came as a bit of a surprise since the two countries restarted trade talks in Shanghai this week.
In a tweet on Thursday, Trump said, “Our representatives have just returned from China where they had constructive talks having to do with a future Trade Deal. We thought we had a deal with China three months ago, but sadly, China decided to re-negotiate the deal prior to signing. More recently, China agreed to buy agricultural product from the U.S. in large quantities, but did not do so. Additionally, my friend President Xi said that he would stop the sale of Fentanyl to the United States — this never happened, and many Americans continue to die! Trade talks are continuing, and during the talks the U.S. will start, on September 1st, putting a small additional Tariff of 10% on the remaining 300 Billion Dollars of goods and products coming from China into our Country. This does not include the 250 Billion Dollars already Tariffed at 25% We look forward to continuing our positive dialogue with China on a comprehensive Trade Deal, and feel that the future between our two countries will be a very bright one!”
The announcement comes one day after the White House reported the trade talks were “constructive” between the two countries. In a statement from the White House press secretary, “The Chinese side confirmed their commitment to increase purchases of United States agricultural exports. The meetings were constructive, and we expect negotiations on an enforceable trade deal to continue in Washington, D.C., in early September.”
According to American Farm Bureau, from 2017 to 2018, U.S. agricultural exports to China fell more than 50 percent, dropping to $9.1 billion. Since the announcement of increase in tariffs, markets fell quickly.