The government of the People’s Republic of China have imposed 25 percent tariffs on 128 US goods which include pork, wine, fruits and nuts as a reciprocal step to US metal tariffs. The latest tariffs are in line with the $3 billion proposed tariffs on US goods which have been published by China in March. MOFCOM or the Ministry of Commerce of PRC has stated that it is increasing the tariffs on 120 goods from the US by an extra 15 percent thus in an obvious suspension of its obligation to WTO. Additionally, tariffs on 8 products will be 25 percent. The Finance Ministry of China has said that the suspension of obligations to offer tariff concessions is in line with the WTO rules for the safeguarding of interests of China in the wake of rise in tensions between Beijing and US which has the potential to snowball into a full-fledged trade war.
The Trump administration is all set to levy new tariffs worth $50 billion on China in retaliation to systematic misappropriation of American intellectual property by China as a price for doing business there. Many international firms have raised concerns about the unfair trade practices of China although China has repeatedly stated that it will open its economy to the world.
MOFCOM has stated that US has grossly violated the non-discrimination principles of WTO which are detrimental to interests of China.
China and US have strong trade ties and a broad economic partnership. Despite the economic cooperation, both nations share a struggle for undermining the influence of other in Pacific region which has given way to mutual doubt over the covert intentions of the other. Trump administration is using tariffs as an instrument to equalise competition and punish the economies who have a difference of opinion with US trade or foreign policy. As against the idea of free trade, US administration is aiming at regulated or managed trade which is an impossible scenario as like Trump who is pursuing “America First” aim other countries also strive to make their economies robust. The US exports amount to $2.4 trillion in services and goods in 2017 which presents an alluring case to other countries to reciprocate the tariffs.