Trump's China tariffs could hurt Walmart, Best Buy

Randolph Lopez
March 22, 2018

The administration is said to be considering wide-ranging tariffs on everything from consumer electronics to shoes and clothing made in China, as well as restrictions on Chinese investments in the United States, according to people briefed on the matter.

Businesses may submit requests to the Office of the Secretary of Commerce for an exclusion if the affected parties can argue that the the USA can't produce enough needed steel or aluminum materials or those are not able to be produced to the quality needed. "We don't have a lot of time". In 2002, when the United States last imposed steel tariffs, the exclusion system was established four months before President George W. Bush announced the trade measures. Ms Kang Kyung-wha foreign minister of South Korea a leading steel exporter branded Washington's trade move unhelpful and not something that the USA should be doing to a security ally.

The Trump administration has already said Canada and Mexico will be exempt.

European Union leaders will discuss the tariffs on Thursday, hoping to avert a trade war while remaining determined to press on with free trade deals with the Mercosur countries of South America and Mexico. But there's been little information released on what the Lighthizer's office seeking, beyond the tariff proclamation's general clause indicating that a country must provide a "satisfactory" alternative. White House Chief Economist Gary Cohn reportedly clashed with the president over the matter, ultimately deciding to resign because of it. Nor would it confirm that Australia had been granted a countrywide exemption. "We hope this important means to balance China-U.S. trade will not be missed because that would be missing the good opportunity for making more money".

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Japan's economy minister and foreign affairs minister have met directly with U.S. Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer.

US tariffs on aluminum and steel imports will add thousands of jobs at domestic producers, offsetting labor losses in other industries, while economic growth will slow by a tiny percentage, according to the Coalition for a Prosperous America. USA officials and industry representatives suspect that such circumvention is happening particularly through Turkey, South Korea and Vietnam, but there's been no definitive study confirming that.

The letter points out that the USA levies the highest tariffs on basic consumer goods, which force families shopping in American stores pay higher prices because America already levies import taxes as much as 32 and 67% on basic clothes and shoes.

As in Newtonian physics, for each action through major tariff measures, there can be an "equal and opposite" reaction, not only in counter tariffs but also in the altered purchasing patterns of major enterprises in the affected nations, particular by state-owned or highly regulated enterprises in those nations, such as major airlines that buy "big ticket" USA -made planes and their equipment and related services.

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