Trade

Trump Says He’s Imposing Tariffs On All Remaining Chinese Goods

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Folks, I know we saw this coming, but I don't think any of us expected it would happen this quickly.

All of our speculation that Trump couldn't keep his tariffs in his pants for more than a single fucking week may have felt a little extra, but it evidently wasn't unfounded.

Trump says he'll impose tariffs on all remaining Chinese goods.

President Donald Trump abruptly escalated his trade war with China, announcing that he would impose a 10% tariff on $300 billion in Chinese imports that aren’t yet subject to U.S. duties after setbacks in negotiations with Beijing.

The new tariff will be imposed beginning Sept. 1, he said in a tweet. Another $250 billion in Chinese goods are already subject to a 25% U.S. tariff.

U.S. stocks pared gains on the news, while yields on 10-year Treasuries fell to the lowest since 2016.

Trump's trade representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin just returned from face-to-face trade talks in China less 24 hours ago, for crying out loud.

It hasn't been reported yet, but I infer that their first meeting with Trump upon returning from China is what led to Trump's surprise announcement that he's imposing tariffs on an additional $300 billion in Chinese goods.

American and Chinese officials described their talks as "constructive" but they apparently weren't constructive enough for Trump. Or maybe they were and that's not the real reason he's doing this. Who knows? Trump is a whimsical creature.

I recently speculated that Trump could use the Federal Reserve's decision to cut interest rates as an excuse to escalate his trade war and it may not be a coincidence that the Fed cut interest rates just yesterday.

Whatever the case may be, we're in the shit now. The market tanked immediately after Trump's announcement.

  • muselet

    Okay, who had the morning of August 1 in the pool?

    Someone who worked for Donald Trump once described him as impulsive and impatient. He is prone to make snap decisions and expect everyone around him to make it happen.

    I suspect Trump believed the Chinese government would agree to give him whatever he demanded because, well, because he’s Donald Trump, dammit, that’s why. I further suspect Trump is bewildered that his go-to move of hectoring and bullying isn’t having the expected effect, and he’s fast running out of other tactics.

    It will take a generation to undo the damage Trump is doing.

    –alopecia

    • Draxiar

      When your only tool is a hammer you see every problem as a nail.

      We basically have Veruca Salt as president.

  • gescove

    “Trump is a whimsical creature.” I would prefer different, more pejorative adjectives… “whimsical” connotes appealing and fanciful. How about “volatile, capricious, temperamental, impulsive, fickle, unpredictable, erratic, mercurial, inconsistent, unstable, unsteady” instead? Why isn’t there push-back from Congress? The legal basis for Trump’s authority to do any of this is scant, to say the least. Why is no one framing this as the effing largest tax increase on consumers EVER?

    • Tony Lavely

      Goes to general revenue, right? Available for the damn wall, right?

      • Badgerite

        Yes. In effect, it is like a salestax on the American consumer. Prices will go up and markets for American goods will shrink. The increase may go into the government’s general revenue coffers but other tax revenues will decline as the economy slows due to his, (wait for it ) tarrifs. I believe trump is limited in where he can grab funds for his “wall” ( see fencing). Which means he will screw over the military budget to get his hands on some money to put up something to satisfy what is basically a political ad campaign.

    • I’m pretty sure “whimsical” was in air quotes and meant with all the sarcasm there is.