WASHINGTON, July 13 (APP):Top lawmakers from the ruling Republican Party have expressed concern over the move by President Trump
to impose tariffs on an additional $200 billion Chinese goods amid increasing fear of an escalating trade war
between the world’s top economies that could have wide-ranging economic consequences.
Members of the Congressing this week pushed back against latest steps by the President to expand the
tariff regime for Chinese import which, they fear, could hurt American farmers and consumers.
Tariff on products included in the latest move would come into effect in at least about two months as the administration will hold public comment period on the affected products. Once in effect, however, the number of
goods to face tariff will increase dramatically as they will be in addition to goods worth $34 billion that are now
subject to 25 percent import duties.
The 25 percent duties on Chinese goods were imposed last week and more goods worth $16 billion could
start facing these duties as early as next month.
Kevin Brady, the Chairman of the House’s Ways and Means committee said that tension with China over
trade tariffs could escalate into a multiyear trade conflict, a report by online news portal The Hill said. He urged President Trump to meet his Chinese counterpart to sort out the problems.
House Speaker Paul Ryan has also suggested the same. “I don’t want to hamstring the president’s
negotiating tactics, but I have long said I don’t think tariffs are the right way to go,” Ryan told a press conference
China retaliated President Trump’s tariffs with its own duties on US goods. China can however feel more
pinch given the fact that its exports to US is much higher than what it imports from the US. China exported goods
worth $505 billion in 2017 compared to $130 billion worth of goods it imported from the US last year.
“But Beijing could fight back with other measures to make life difficult for American companies doing business
in China,” the Hill report said.
President Trump has also annoyed its long-time trading partners such as the European Union, Mexico and Canada by imposing tariffs on import of steel and aluminum from these countries. All of them have either already imposed counter-tariffs, or planning to do so.
A top official of the European Commission, Vice President Valdis Dembrovskis said in Brussels that he was “concerned” about an “immediate economic impact” from not just the latest tensions between the US and China,
but also about its broader impact on the multilateral world trading system.
Republican lawmaker Dave Reicher was quoted as saying by the report that he “strongly disagrees” with the tariff plans that, he feared, would lead to higher prices for goods at home and would hurt American exports.
Concerns over President Trump’s trade policies by Republican lawmakers from the lower house come as US Senators from both the Republican as well as opposition Democrats passed a motion this week with an
overwhelming majority to support NATO, the Western alliance that has been targeted by President Trump over
sharing defense spending.
President Trump has long been critical of NATO members as he says that they have failed to meet their
defense spending commitments. He ramped up his criticism during days leading to the summit.