tariff tumult
December 13, 2019

Just when you think you know what's going on in Washington, President Trump throws another wrench into the works.

While The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that the Trump administration had reached a limited trade deal with China, supposedly agreeing to cancel new tariff hikes and roll back existing tariffs on some Chinese goods, Trump tweeted Friday the story was "completely wrong, especially their statement on tariffs."

The report had described the deal as something Trump was poised to sign off on. Beijing had reportedly agreed to increase purchases of U.S. farm goods, along with other concessions, in exchange for the reduced tariffs, which would have been a big step in cooling the ongoing trade war that has spooked investors and raised consumer prices.

Now, it's completely unclear what the deal includes, or if there's even a deal at all. Trump did promise a trade deal was "very close" on Thursday morning, but that's something he's said repeatedly without any agreement actually materializing. As CBS News' Weijia Jiang noted, its hard to know what to expect, especially since the White House hasn't offered any official clarification. Chinese officials aren't talking either, and local sources are calling it a "delicate situation," which should surely reassure investors. Summer Meza

September 24, 2018

The latest battle in this year's U.S. vs. China trade war is the most brutal yet.

President Trump imposed new tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods Monday, The Washington Post reports. China has promised to respond to levies with fresh tariffs of its own, and immediately kept its word by imposing tariffs on $60 billion in American goods.

The escalating trade war, which Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the Trump administration is "determined to win," has reached such heights that China is running out of American products to target, reports the Post. China's government accused the U.S. of "trade bullying," after canceling trade talks due to the rising economic tensions.

Trump has shown no sign of reining in the punitive duties. Pompeo predicted that "we're going to get an outcome which forces China to behave," but the Chinese government on Monday castigated the U.S. for "attempting to impose its own interests on China through extreme pressure." Trump has said that retaliatory tariffs would simply lead him to levy additional taxes on $267 billion in Chinese products. Once China runs out of American goods to hit, officials expect "qualitative" retaliation like slowing the process for visas and licenses.

Thousands of imports are now being taxed up to 10 percent, a cost absorbed by American consumers. Read more at The Washington Post. Summer Meza

August 24, 2018

Most Americans aren't so sure that tariffs will bring positive change.

A poll released Friday by The Associated Press found that fewer than half of Americans expect recent tariffs to help the economy, local communities, or their own families. Rather, many believe tariffs will likely bring negative effects.

President Trump has been ordering tariffs on dozens of products, particularly escalating a trade war with China. The tariffs have targeted billions of dollars worth of goods, and Trump has said he won't back down until the U.S. is able to renegotiate trade deals. "Tariffs are the greatest!" he trumpeted on Twitter last month.

Americans largely disagree. The AP survey found that 35 percent of those polled think the tariffs will definitely or probably hurt them financially, while only 19 percent say they will likely help. There was more of a split when it came to evaluating the tariffs' effect on the national economy: Forty percent said they would help, and 44 percent said they would hurt.

Three-quarters of Republicans support Trump's approach to trade with China, though Americans on either side of the aisle worry about increasing prices on consumer goods. While Trump's handling of the economy is among the most popular aspects of his presidency, about 60 percent of Americans disapprove of his trade negotiations with other countries.

The AP-NORC poll surveyed 1,055 adults by phone between Aug. 16-20. The margin of error is 4.2 percentage points. See more results at The Associated Press. Summer Meza

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