Hit ‘em where it hurts: Chinese tariffs target American nuts & hundreds of other products

Monday, June 18, 2018
By Paul Martin

18 Jun, 2018

In an attempt to kick Washington in its natural resources, Beijing has revealed a list of US goods set to be affected by the first round of retaliatory tariffs that will come into effect on July 6.

China will set a 25-percent tariff on 545 American products worth $50 billion in agriculture products, cars, and seafood, according to Chinese state-run Xinhua News Agency. The decision on the remaining 114 items, including chemicals, medical equipment, and energy industry products, will be “announced later.”

Last week, the White House announced import levies targeting $50 billion of goods from China, aiming to curb unfair trade practices by Beijing. The measure, which comes into effect on July 6, targets 1,102 separate product categories, with the first package of tariffs to be applied to $34 billion of Chinese goods.

China, the world’s largest commodities consumer, started levying additional taxes on American fruit, nuts, pork, and wine in retaliation to US President Donald Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum. Back then, Beijing imposed taxes on soybean, corn, wheat, rice, sorghum, beef, pork, poultry, fish, dairy products, nuts and vegetables. The new list covers more agricultural products, including dairy, alfalfa, and seafood.

The US coal industry may become the next casualty in the ongoing trade war between the world’s two biggest economies. American miners are deeply dependent on foreign markets. In 2017, US coal exports jumped by 61 percent as shipments to Asia more than doubled, Bloomberg reported. Meanwhile, China reportedly purchased 271 million tons from overseas.

The US share of Chinese coal imports amounted to 2.9 million tons, according to Energy Information Administration. The total value of US coal sold to China in 2017 was about $395 million. Ninety percent of the amount was metallurgical coal aimed at making steel.

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