The Trump administration and the Chinese government are engaged in an escalating tit-for-tat tariff war, and consumers are getting stuck in the middle.
China said Monday that it is raising tariffs on $60 billion of U.S. goods in retaliation for Trump doubling duties on $200 billion of Chinese imports. This despite Trump’s tweeted warning that “China should not retaliate-will only get worse!”
According to the AP, China’s Finance Ministry said the penalties will be tacked on to 5% to 25% on hundreds of U.S. products, including batteries, spinach, tea, and coffee. This new round of tariffs will take effect on June 1.
Trump denies that U.S. consumers will pay the price for higher tariffs on Chinese imports, claiming that China will shoulder the bill, but his own economic advisor, Larry Kudlow, admitted that “both sides will suffer” in the escalating trade war. The National Retail Federation says that the new tariffs are “bad news for nearly every sector of the American economy — retail, farming, manufacturing and technology.”
The official $200 billion tariff list includes a whopping 194 pages of products ranging from a wide variety of meat, seafood, machinery, fruits and vegetables, tobacco, mattresses, butter, chicken, honey, badger (?!), coconuts, cashews, plastics, rubber, leather goods, silk, parachutes, boats, chemicals and minerals used in manufacturing, bicycle parts, bamboo and teak furniture, slide and button fasteners, electronics, and all sorts of items that consumers are used to picking up at stores.
- You can see the full list here.
As the New York Times reports, while the first round of tariffs largely targeted items that didn’t impact consumers directly, this new round will have an impact on your wallet. The Peterson Institute for International Economics says that a quarter of the tariffs were placed on items that are classified as consumer goods, including “$11.3 billion in furniture imports, $9.2 billion in auto parts and $6.6 billion in luggage.”