Trade

GOP rep hits Trump over ‘tit-for-tat trade war’ with China

GOP Rep. Will Hurd (Texas) denounced President Trump’s move on Friday to hike tariffs on Chinese goods, escalating a trade war between the world’s two largest economies.

Hurd, who has frequently criticized Trump, said a “tit-for-tat tariff war” would not solve trade issues between the two countries and likened the tariffs to essentially a sales tax on U.S. consumers. 

“The way you deal with that is not using a tit-for-tat tariff war,” Hurd said in an appearance on CNN’s “New Day.” “We should think of a tariff like a sales tax … on American consumers. It’s going to be more expensive for Americans to buy products.”{mosads}

Hurd cautioned that the tariffs will have a “long-term impact” on the U.S. economy, suggesting instead that the U.S. impose rules on Chinese companies in the U.S. equal to those China has implemented for American companies there.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection raised duties from 10 percent to 25 percent on $200 billion worth of imports from China just after midnight Friday, despite Chinese negotiators beginning talks in Washington on Thursday.

China’s Commerce Ministry on Thursday vowed to take “necessary countermeasures” to a tariff increase, according to The Associated Press.  

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin were expected to continue talks on Friday in an attempt to rescue a deal that could end a 10-month trade war that has shaken global markets.

The tariff hike had originally been delayed as Washington and Beijing worked out a permanent trade deal, but it was renewed after the Trump administration accused China of going back on previously agreed-upon terms.

Trump defended the move on Twitter Friday morning, doubling down on what he says are the benefits of tariffs.

“Talks with China continue in a very congenial manner — there is absolutely no need to rush — as Tariffs are NOW being paid to the United States by China of 25% on 250 Billion Dollars worth of goods & products,” Trump tweeted in a lengthy thread in his first comments since the tariffs were officially implemented.

Tags China Donald Trump Robert Lighthizer Steven Mnuchin Trade Will Hurd
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