US-China trade war: How tariffs are tools that bring Beijing to the table

Sen. Lindsey Graham said on Sunday that he supports President Trump’s decision to increase tariffs on Chinese goods after the two nations failed to reach a trade agreement last week.

“This is the best chance in my lifetime to get China to change their cheating ways,” Graham, R-S.C., told “Sunday Morning Futures.” “The tariffs are tools that bring China to the table. I’m standing 100 percent with the president.”

The U.S. increased tariffs Friday on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25 percent from 10 percent after officials, who met in Washington, D.C., from both nations walked away without a deal. Additionally, Trump called for U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to begin raising tariffs on “essentially all remaining imports from China, which are valued at approximately $300 billion.”

Trump said in a tweet on Friday that the two countries will continue to negotiate and that the “U.S. only sells China approximately 100 Billion Dollars of goods & products,” which he called a “very big imbalance.”

“We are going to have some short-term pain in America to get China to change their behavior, and if we don’t get China to change they’re going to destroy our economy over time,” Graham said.

While the president told reporters last week that the tariffs would be paid for “mostly” by China, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Sunday that “both sides will pay,” noting that the tariffs will cause China to suffer GDP losses as its export market diminishes.

“Both sides will suffer on this,” Kudlow told Chris Wallace during an interview on “Fox News Sunday.”

Graham, too, noted that while raising tariffs on Chinese products will increase the cost of goods for Americans, China’s supply chain will be disrupted, which poses a bigger threat to their economy.


“When you put tariffs on products coming out of China, it makes other countries a cheaper place to do business which eventually moves market share away from China,” the senator said. “This is what Trump’s trying to do. He’s trying to break the stranglehold China has on the supply chain.”