Despite cooling tensions between the world’s two largest economies, the White House said Tuesday it will impose a 25% tariff on $50 billion of imported goods from China that “contain industrially significant technology" next month.
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This includes products related to the “Made in China 2025” program. The final list will be announced by June 15 with tariffs imposed shortly after.
President Trump signed a memorandum in late March announcing the administration would take steps to protect domestic technology and intellectual property from China’s “discriminatory and burdensome” trade practices.
The White House also said it would implement specific investment restrictions and enhanced export controls for Chinese people and entities “related to the acquisition of industrially significant technology” as a way to protect national security. These will be announced by June 30 and applied shortly thereafter, it said.
The news comes just days after Trump announced the U.S. would allow Chinese telecom giant ZTE to reopen with “high level security guarantees, change of management and board,” and require the telecom giant to purchase U.S. parts and pay a $1.3 billion fine. The company suspended its main operations after the administration banned U.S. businesses from providing it with supplies.
Trump said early last week China had agreed to purchase “massive amounts” of farm and agricultural products from the U.S., adding more ambiguity to the trade talks between the two nations.
A day later, Trump said talks of a trade deal with China were “moving along nicely” but were likely to use a “different structure.”
Washington and Beijing have been avoiding a trade war, after the Trump administration threatened to impose up to $150 billion worth of duties on Chinese goods earlier this year. The latter warned it would apply retaliatory tariffs on American-made aircraft, autos and soybeans.