(Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump has rattled the world trade order by imposing unilateral tariffs to combat what he calls unfair trade practices by China, the European Union and other major trading partners of the United States.
The actions led to tit-for-tat retaliation, including a growing tariff war with China that threatens to engulf all trade between the world’s two largest economies.
The following is a rundown of major U.S. tariff actions and retaliatory measures in 2018:
- 25 percent tariffs on imported steel and 10 percent tariffs on imported aluminum, imposed on March 23 on national security grounds. Exemptions have been granted to Argentina, Australia, Brazil and South Korea in exchange for quotas, and negotiations over quotas continue with Canada, Mexico and the European Union.
- 20 percent to 50 percent tariffs on imported washing machines, imposed Jan. 22 as a “global safeguard” action to protect U.S. producers Whirlpool and GE Appliances, a unit of China’s Haier Group
- 30 percent tariffs on imported solar panels, imposed Jan. 22 as a “global safeguard” action to protect U.S. producers Solar World, based in Germany, and Suniva, owned by China’s Shunfeng International Clean Energy Ltd
- Trump is considering tariffs of around 25 percent on imported cars and auto parts, based on a U.S. Commerce Department study of whether such imports threaten U.S. national security.
The new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement trade deal protects Canadian and Mexican production in the event of such tariffs through a quota system. Trump has pledged not to impose auto tariffs on Japan and the European Union while trade negotiations with those partners are underway.
- 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese technology goods including machinery, semiconductors, autos, aircraft parts and intermediate electronics components imposed July 6 and Aug. 23 as part of “Section 301” probe into China’s intellectual property practices.
- 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods including chemicals, building materials, furniture and some consumer electronics, imposed Sept. 24 as a response to Chinese retaliation. The levy on these imports is scheduled to increase to 25 percent on Jan. 1, 2019.
- If an agreement with China cannot be reached, Trump has threatened to impose tariffs on an additional $267 billion worth of Chinese goods, representing all remaining imports from China, including cell phones, computers, clothing, footwear and other consumer products.
- U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said on Wednesday that Trump has directed him to pursue all tools to raise the U.S. tariff rate on Chinese autos to the 40 percent that China is now charging on cars and trucks built in the United States. The United States charges 27.5 percent tariffs on Chinese vehicles.
- 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion worth of U.S. goods including soybeans, beef, pork, seafood, vegetables, whiskey, ethanol and motor vehicles, imposed July 6 and Aug. 23 in retaliation for initial rounds of U.S. tariffs.
- Tariffs of 5 percent to 10 percent on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods, including liquefied natural gas, chemicals, frozen vegetables and food ingredients, imposed Sept. 24.
- Based on 2017 U.S. Census Bureau trade data, China only would have about $20 billion in U.S. imports left to levy in retaliation for any future U.S. tariffs, of which $16 billion were commercial aircraft, largely built by Boeing Co. Retaliation could come in other forms, such as increased regulatory hurdles for U.S. companies doing business in China.
- Canada on July 1 imposed tariffs on $12.6 billion worth of U.S. goods, including steel, aluminum, coffee, ketchup and bourbon whiskey in retaliation for U.S tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum. (tinyurl.com/y8w5g895)
- Mexico on June 5 imposed tariffs of up to 25 percent on American steel, pork, cheese, apples, potatoes and bourbon, in retaliation for U.S. tariffs on Mexican metals.
- The European Union on June 22 imposed import duties of 25 percent on a $2.8 billion range of imports from the United States in retaliation for U.S. tariffs on European steel and aluminum. Targeted U.S. products include Harley-Davidson motorcycles, bourbon, peanuts, blue jeans, steel and aluminum.
The list of these products can be found here (here)
- India, the world’s biggest buyer of U.S. almonds, on June 21 raised import duties on the nuts by 20 percent and increased tariffs on a range of other farm products and U.S. iron and steel, in retaliation for U.S. tariffs on Indian steel..
- The United States on Aug. 14 doubled its duty rate on Turkish steel to 50 percent and Turkish aluminum to 20 percent, citing national security concerns amid a deepening diplomatic dispute over the detention of an American pastor. Turkey, which already had imposed retaliatory tariffs on $1.8 billion worth of U.S. autos, coal, paper, almonds, machinery and other products, responded by doubling its own tariff rate on many of these goods.
Compiled by David Lawder; editing by Grant McCool