Trump prepared to hit China with $60 billion in annual tariffs

President Trump is preparing to impose a package of $60 billion in annual tariffs against Chinese products, following through on a longtime threat that he says will punish China for intellectual property theft and create more US jobs. Most US businesses agree with the Trump administration’s criticisms of China. But many disagree with the administration’s strategy.

“The US-China Business Council believes that tariffs will do more harm than good in bringing about an improvement in intellectual property protection for American companies in China,” said John Frisbie, president of the council, a nonpartisan group of 200 US companies that do business with China. “Business wants to see solutions to the issues, not just sanctions.”

The US-China Business Council noted that many states – including some swing states that propelled to an unexpected victory in 2016 – have seen sharp increases in exports to China. Over the decade ending 2016, Pennsylvania’s exports of goods to China increased 83 percent, twice the rate as its exports to the rest of the world. And Pennsylvania’s exports of services jumped more than four-fold, more than five times the pace as its services exports to the rest of the world. Exports from Michigan, another state Trump won, showed a similar pattern.