American industry today opposed the decision of President Donald Trump to impose a 25 per cent tariff on import of goods worth USD 50 billion from China, arguing that it is not the right approach. “Imposing tariffs places the cost of China’s unfair trade practices squarely on the shoulders of American consumers, manufacturers, farmers, and ranchers. This is not the right approach,” US Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Thomas J Donohue said. The chamber of commerce he said, has vocally opposed using tariffs – and promoted working with allies – as a way to address China’s trade and investment policies and practices.
However, the opposition Democratic Party came out in support of the imposition of tariffs. “The president’s actions on China are on the money. China is our real trade enemy, and their theft of intellectual property and their refusal to let our companies compete fairly threatens millions of future American jobs,” said Senator Chuck Schumer, the Senate minority leader. “While we await further details on this trade action, President Trump is right on target,” Schumer said.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch said tariffs will harm American and Chinese businesses and consumers, and will put economic growth in both countries at risk. “China must take responsibility and act expeditiously to change its policies to avoid the damaging effects of tariffs and escalating retaliation. America’s trade strategy must focus on combating China’s discriminatory and market-distorting practices,” he said.
“Ill-conceived trade actions that weaken the American economy, alienate allies, and invite retaliation against American businesses, farmers and ranchers, undermine our nation’s ability to successfully confront China’s unfair trade policies,” Hatch said. On the other hand, the House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady, a Republican, rued that tariffs make it more difficult to sell more ‘Made in America’ products globally and expose many US industries – particularly agriculture and chemicals – to devastating retaliation.
“I urge the US Trade Representative to narrow these tariffs and implement an effective exclusion process that provides relief for American companies, unlike the problematic Commerce 232 exclusion process,” Brady said. “While it’s encouraging that not all of the initially proposed tariffs will be implemented – as a result of the comment period that Congress called for – I am alarmed that additional products are now placed on the list for possible future action,” he said.
Republican Senator from Florida Marco Rubio described Trump’s decision as an excellent move. He alleged that Chinese companies steal over USD 300 billion worth of technology a year. “So these aren’t tariffs they are a #TheftTax,” he tweeted.