UNITED NATIONS – U.S.-China trade tensions showed no sign of abating on Monday, as China announced that new tariffs would be placed on 5,000 different American products on June 1 unless a trade deal is reached before then.
Early on in the trade spat, China targeted its tariffs on specific industries and U.S. states in the hopes of drumming up domestic opposition to President Trump’s trade agenda. That strategy saw companies like John Deere and Jack Daniels hammered with precision. But now, as China runs out of U.S. products left to target, the tariff net is being cast more broadly.
Among the U.S. products that will be hit by the China tariffs are exports of beef, coffee, furniture, watches, audiovisual equipment, metal ores and liquefied natural gas.
But even once China exhausts its list of American products to target, the country has other tools at its disposal, like erecting procedural delays at customs or withholding operating licenses for American business in China.
China also hopes President Trump’s trade agenda will end up hurting the very Americans he says he’s protecting. While Trump has falsely implied tariffs are paid by foreign countries directly to the U.S. treasury, it’s American consumers that will likely cover the cost increases as Chinese-made products become more expensive.
A research note published by Goldman Sachs over the weekend found that, “the costs of US tariffs have fallen entirely on US businesses and households, with no clear reduction in the prices charged by Chinese exporters.”
In a sign China may be ready to settle in for a prolonged trade battle, a news anchor on China Central TV on Monday finished a long and excited on-air monologue by challenging the U.S., saying, “You want the war? We are ready!”