Senior U.S Government officials confirmed this week that President Trump’s administration was preparing to announce a hefty package of intellectual-property based tariffs targeting China. The news comes as the President appears increasingly to be turning back to an international trade strategy featuring tariffs and protective measures, a major campaign promise that President Trump initially appeared to back away from during the first year of his administration.
After imposing internationally universal (providing exemptions to the NAFTA member states of Mexico and Canada) 25% and 10% tariffs on steel and aluminum respectively, the President’s latest move places more focus on practices of China, a country renowned in international circles and American political dialogue for its abusive and unsavory trade practices, often relating to intellectual property and the mass dumping of cheaply made steel.
The upcoming tariffs will address long-articulated concerns of a troubling lack of reciprocity in the regards to the recognition of American intellectual property in China. It’s predicted that the comprehensive package of tariffs could have an economic impact of up to $60 billion, a hefty figure that could potentially make significant inroads in reducing the massive trade deficit of roughly $250 billion held by China over the United States.
While the President’s raw material tariffs drew the ire of big business-linked lobbying groups, some of whom hold footing with members of the congressional Republican Party such as frequent Trump opponent Jeff Flake, it’s expected that the tariffs targeting China will be more warmly received by the Senate and House Majorities, considering many caucus members have campaigned on a promise to punish China for abusive practices for years. The two major tariff policies implemented by President Trump come on the heels of the announced resignation of White House Chief Economic Adviser Gary Cohn on March 6th.
Cohn, a registered Democrat and former Chief Operating Officer of the mega behemoth finance company Goldman Sachs, seemed to have realized he had worn out his welcome in the arena of influencing Presidential policy after failing to dissuade Trump from implementing the Steel and Aluminum tariffs promised during his groundbreaking campaign. With Cohn out of the picture, it seems even more likely that the President will embrace his American Nationalist campaign promises and go even further to institute protective policies aimed at placing the world’s largest economy out of the reach of manipulative and noncompetitive practices of economic cheaters.