Trump Says He’ll Impose Tariffs On All Chinese Imports

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Trump has already directed his trade representative Robert Lighthizer to draw up a list of at least $400 billion in Chinese products they can impose tariffs on, but Trump says he wants to go further than that.

Trump spoke to CNBC this morning where he said he'd like to impose tariffs on virtually every single thing imported from China.

"I'm ready to go to 500," the president told CNBC's Joe Kernen in a "Squawk Box" interview aired Friday.

The reference is to the dollar amount of Chinese imports the U.S. accepted in 2017 — $505.5 billion to be exact, compared with the $129.9 billion the U.S. exported to China, according to Census Bureau data. [...]

Trump said the U.S. is "being taken advantage of" on a number of fronts, including trade and monetary policy. Yet he said he has not pushed the tariffs out of any ill will toward China.

Imposing tariffs on every product we import from China would directly effect every single American. It would increase the price of household items that Americans buy on a daily basis, from clothing and apparel to even things like candles, shampoo, toys and Christmas tree ornaments.

Why does Donald Trump hate Christmas?

We live in a consumer-based economy and imposing tariffs on all Chinese products would dramatically reduce American purchasing power across the board. Americans will buy fewer goods, stores will sell less, and layoffs will follow.

An increasing number of experts and investors believe the next recession will arrive in late 2019 or early 2020, but there's also the possibility that Trump's actions will make it happen sooner rather than later.

Asset managers at JP Morgan told Bloomberg yesterday they believe the current market can sustain itself until 2020. That's another way of saying 2020 is when the recession will arrive, but that doesn't account for Trump's intervention in the market. Trump is a distorting force that can't necessarily be accounted for.

The idea that the market will keep going until it burns itself out is based on a relatively normal political climate experienced under every previous president. There's no precedent for someone like Trump launching a global trade war based on vanity and incoherence.

The market is currently flat even though the GOP's tax cuts have sent corporate earnings soaring.

It's all a mirage.

  • muselet

    This is madness.

    In a trade war, as I keep saying, China can hurt the US far more than the US can hurt China. China can sell its manufactured goods to the other 193-ish countries in the world, after all.

    Donald Trump seems bound and determined to cause an economic downturn.


  • Another important thing to note is that China is the biggest consumer of our recyclable “mixed plastics”, which they turn into more plastic things that they then turn around and consume and/or export to us. That has all stopped now due to the trade war. So tens of millions of tons of mixed plastic have nowhere to go but in our local landfills. Phoenix is considering proposals for a local recycling plant to handle these mixed plastics. Only problem is…it will increase our taxes in the short run and in the long run, when and if Trumpov goes away and the trade war ceases, that recycling plant will have to compete with Chinese recycling–a losing proposition. More downsides include the fact that until the plant is built, our environment is taking a major hit AND it will increase the cost of things locally. We’ve said it before and we need to keep saying so that ALL Americans understand that trade wars affect more than just markets–they can affect our planet and our health. And that we were and are too entwined with the global marketplace to just randomly start throwing stones like Trumpov has done.

  • David Greenberg

    The closer the Russian investigation comes, combined with the moronic behavior forced on him by Putin, the goofier the Twitter pronouncements, which are meant to distract and misdirect attention. It is my hope- perhaps foolish- that only the very worst of the deplorables will stick by him. Meanwhile, the whole country will pay an enormous price, even if not everyone realizes it.

  • katanahamon

    It’s an even more depressing shame given the incredible efforts of the Obama administration to fix the mistakes of the previous republican destruction of our economy. Why won’t the media report these facts to the people instead of allowing Rump to verbally shit on every interview? (Sorry for my increasingly poor’s just getting harder to rein in the disgust factor,…..)

    • Aynwrong

      I feel the same way.

    • Nefercat

      “(Sorry for my increasingly poor’s just getting harder to rein in the disgust factor,…..)”
      I think you speak for many people, I being one of them.

    • Me too! My language gets bluer by the day.

    • Scopedog

      “Why won’t the media report these facts to the people instead of allowing Rump to verbally shit on every interview?”

      Good question…and I wish I had a good answer.