That didn’t last long.
But that détente appears to be over, as President Donald Trump announced today that the U.S. will soon slap a 25 percent import tax on $50 billion in Chinese goods, especially technology products. Another $100 billion in tariffs is possible if China follows through on threats to retaliate, the president added.
“My great friendship with President Xi of China and our country’s relationship with China are both very important to me,” Trump said in a statement. “Trade between our nations, however, has been very unfair, for a very long time. This situation is no longer sustainable. … The United States can no longer tolerate losing our technology and intellectual property through unfair economic practices.
“These tariffs are essential to preventing further unfair transfers of American technology and intellectual property to China, which will protect American jobs,” Trump said. “In addition, they will serve as an initial step toward bringing balance to the trade relationship between the United States and China.”
Tensions between the two countries have been heightened since the U.S. enacted a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum. The tariffs are largely seen as primarily aimed at China, although they now also affect allies such as Canada, Mexico and the European Union.