Trump tariffs a slap on China's wrist, experts say

Beijing retaliated Tuesday against Trump’s new 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, escalating an ongoing trade conflict that likely won’t do either nation much economic damage, according to a Trump adviser and an economist.

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“Ten percent isn’t much, it’s really just a warning shot,” University of Maryland economist Peter Morici said during an interview on FOX Business’ “Mornings with Maria” of the Trump administration’s latest tariffs. “China’s got lots of leverage … to work around a 10 percent tariff.”

Meanwhile, China announced countermeasures on another $60 billion worth of U.S. goods Tuesday morning.

During an interview at the New York Economic Club on Monday, National Economic Director Larry Kudlow said Trump has been unsatisfied with how trade discussions with China have progressed to this point, but said he did not believe the tariff policy would cause any meaningful economic damage at home.

Additionally, he admitted he didn’t know how long the levies would remain in place, conceding that the president may be using them as a negotiating tactic.

“It is a grand strategy of negotiating,” Kudlow said. “It is President Trump’s brand and style. … It is a free trade strategy. … Whether they’re long term or not, I think they’re necessary.”

Still, U.S. businesses have voiced their concerns. Last week, businesses from across the country in numerous industries ramped up lobbying efforts in opposition to the tariffs, which they claim will be “paid for by working families who drive our economy.”

Kudlow maintained that when the Chinese delegation was ready for “serious” discussions, their door is open.

After the administration announced the additional tariffs on Monday, Trump took to Twitter early Tuesday to say that China is trying to influence U.S. elections by going after U.S. industry.

Kudlow said the theft of intellectual property and forced transfer of valuable technologies occurring in China were unacceptable.