US trade representative holds hearings on proposed increases to Chinese import tariffs

US trade representative holds hearings on proposed increases to Chinese import tariffs

Beginning today, the Office of the US Trade Representative will sponsor seven days of hearings from 320 companies on proposed

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Photo: Reuters

Beginning today, the Office of the US Trade Representative will sponsor seven days of hearings from 320 companies on proposed $300 billion of tariffs on additional Chinese goods.

Last month, President Donald Trump’s administration raised tariffs to 25% on $200 billion of Chinese imports and ordered US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to prepare tariffs on another $300 billion of goods, effectively encompassing almost all Chinese exports to the US.

Beijing maintains that the adverse economic impact of the trade war on aspects of the US economy, such as consumer spending and retail sales, will coerce the administration into concessions. In light of that, China has stated that a trade deal will be impossible if Washington does not cancel all current tariffs.

However, even if US industries testifying this week on the next round of tariffs lambast the proposed policy, which many likely will, the impact on the Trump administration’s plans for China is likely to be next to nil. This is especially true as the 2020 US presidential election draws near and the tariffs continue to show signs of benefiting key re-election industries, such as US steel, soybean and auto.

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