Tariff

Businesses Testify to USTR Regarding Additional Trump Tariffs

Some of the nation’s business leaders recently participated in seven days of hearings with the Office of the United States Trade Representative in an effort to sway the Trump administration from imposing tariffs on an additional $300 billion in Chinese goods, The New York Times reports. The group — comprised of toymakers, telecom officials, port workers and shoemakers — joined existing detractors, arguing that additional levies would further raise costs for consumers, disrupt supply chains and could force them to lay off employees or close. The administration says that these levies are necessary to curb China’s violation of international trading rules. President Trump will meet with President Xi Jinping of China at the end of this week to discuss the tariffs and a new trade deal, but business owners remain doubtful that an agreement will be reached.

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Senate Approves Motion in Attempt to Limit President's Authority on Tariffs

In an 88-11 vote last Wednesday, the U.S. Senate approved a motion requiring tariffs based on national security to obtain congressional approval prior to enactment, Time Magazine reports. President Donald Trump has recently imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports and is contemplating more on automobiles, causing stocks and commodities to drop worldwide. The measure, sponsored by Senator Bob Corker, R–Tenn., comes after the administration said it would impose a new round of tariffs on Chinese goods due to purported theft of U.S. intellectual property. Legislation limiting Trump’s power will likely face an uphill battle in the U.S. House.

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Sen. Bob Corker Intends to Advance Legislation on Controversial Tariffs

Sen. Bob Corker on Wednesday morning told President Donald Trump that he plans to go through with his legislation that would stifle Trump's ability to impose controversial tariffs, CNBC reports. Trump said last week that he would not exempt Canada, Mexico and the European Union from tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. The affected nations responded swiftly, stating that they will explore retaliatory measures of their own. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that he would not take up Corker's tariff bill as separate legislation, however, it may be added as an amendment to other legislation such as the National Defense Authorization Act.

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China Warns of Retribution on Possible Tariffs Involving Intellectual Property Violations

China’s ambassador to the U.S Cui Tiankai has warned his government is ready to hit back just as hard on trade when President Donald Trump announces the details of further action on intellectual property violations, reports Newsweek. Tiankai said if another round of tariffs or similar action is taken by Trump on intellectual property, then China “will certainly take countermeasures of the same proportion and the same scale, same intensity." “For the protection of intellectual property rights, China has been strengthening its efforts, strengthening our legal system, on this particular issue,” Tiankai told Chinese state-run television channel CGTN. “And we are making good progress. We are ready to look at the specific cases if there is any violation of the intellectual property rights ... by whoever. We are ready to deal with these issues in accordance with our own laws. And we are ready for international co-operation in this area.”
 
The comments come after China responded to the first set of tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum with its own levies on American food imports. More trade measures against China are likely, as the U.S. responds to an investigation into the impact of intellectual property violations involving the nation. The emerging trade war between the U.S. and China has destabilized stock markets, with investors fearing a battle that harms both economies – the two largest in the world. Trump has used his national security powers to push through tariffs without the need for new legislation.
 
Consumer technology goods from China are some of the products in the cross-hairs of a $60 billion package of tariffs approved by Trump on March 22. A list of all affected products is due in the coming days. 
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