US – China trade war: new round of tariffs from both sides

President Donald Trump kicked the trade war with China into high gear on Monday, formally announcing the imposition of tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. The tariffs cover a wide array of goods, from minerals used in manufacturing, to vegetable juices and leather handbags. All of the goods with face a 10% duty until the start of 2019, when the tariffs will jump to 25%.

While the Trump administration is downplaying the effect of the tariffs, many economists expect prices for these goods will increase once the tariffs were officially imposed today.

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The final list is notably different from the previous round of tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods including almost exclusively on industrial equipment and machinery,  while the new list includes consumer products. That means households may start to feel the impact from higher prices. US companies have already said they are worried about the effect of higher costs on their businesses and warned of the risk of job cuts.

Among food and other consumer products there are some categories which hit several industrial sectors. These are:

  • Salts and minerals: salt/sodium chloride; sulfur; graphite; quartz; types of clays; chalk; slate; marble; granite; sandstone; dolomite; gypsum; some plasters; some types of cement; mica; Epsom salts
  • Ores, slag, and ash: ores of iron, copper, nickel, cobalt, aluminum, lead, zinc, tin, chromium, tungsten, uranium, titanium, silver, other precious metals, and others; slag, various types of ash.
  • Mineral fuels and oils: coal; lignite; peat; coke; tars; various types of light oil; various types of kerosene; petroleum oils; liquefied fuels including natural gas, propane, butane, ethylene, and petroleum; oil shale and tar sands
  • Stone, plaster, cement, asbestos: stone for art; marble slabs; roofing slate; millstones; sandpaper; floor or wall tiles; cement bricks.
  • Ceramics: fire bricks; pipes; tiles; porcelain and china.
  • Precious stones and pearls: industrial diamonds; silver and products made of silver; gold and products made of gold; platinum; palladium.
  • Iron and steel and products derived from the metals: drums; tubes; pipes; doors; windows; screws; horseshoes;
  • Copper: plates; cables; tubes; pipes; springs
  • Nickel: bars; rods; wires
  • Aluminum: powder; cable; wire; screws.

Here is the full list, via the USTR: US-China Tariff List 09.17.18

At the same time, China hits back at Trump administration by announcing new trade tariffs on $60 billion of US goods. China will target goods such as liquefied natural gas, produced in states loyal to the US president.

The tariffs got imposed today, same day of US tariffs imposition, and will place an additional 5% in duty on US products including smaller aircraft, computers and textiles, and an extra 10% on goods such as chemicals, meat, wheat and wine.