New tariffs, taking effect Sept. 24 of this year, will start at a 10 percent tax on goods imported from China and are expected to rise to 25 percent beginning next year.
These tariffs target imported goods such as food, personal care items, paper products, clothing and electronics.
The United States Trade Representative, the agency responsible for trade negotiations, said in their Sept. 18 press release these new tariffs are in response to China’s unfair trade practices.
Martin Ma, an economics professor, said that China’s unfair advantages come from the Chinese government heavily subsidizing manufactured products, making them cheaper than American-made products.
“However, we do the same thing with a lot of produces like our agricultural products,” Ma said.
Walmart, in response to these new tariffs, reached out to the office of the U.S. trade representative.
“The immediate impact will be to raise prices on consumers and tax American business and manufacturers,” according to a letter written by Walmart to Robert E. Lighthizer, U.S. trade representative. “A 25 percent tax on these items would be a serious burden on household finances.”
Allan Walburger, an economics professor, said that these tariffs will affect both producers of goods and the consumers. Walburger used the example of the steel industry. Recent tariffs levied against Chinese steel have caused a downturn in profits for automobile producers, raising car prices.
“We will start to feel the effects a little bit when the 10 percent come into play if we haven’t already,” Walburger said.
Recently, China stopped negotiations with the United States, according to Time. Time said China is waiting until the November elections to renegotiate in hopes of a better agreement.
David Campbell, a political science professor, said the way these negotiations have gone is a show of strength on both sides. Campbell said the current administration and the Republican Party are fulfilling their campaign promises by “getting tough on China.”
“The Chinese government cannot look weak in the way it deals with the United States,” Campbell said.
Campbell said Trump’s brash negotiating style is undermining US trading partners’ trust in America.
“Trade makes us all better off,” Walburger said. “The freer the trade, the more it benefits everyone. But it does not benefit everyone equally.”
Both Walburger and Ma said that it is important for students to be aware of how these tariffs will affect them.