America’s high-stakes trade war with China keeps rumbling along but a conservative think tank is not backing down from warning that Americans are paying the price.
"We can't allow China to rip us off anymore as a country," President Donald Trump told reporters September 1, the same day a new round of tariffs kicked in to punish China for its trade deficit with the United States.
China remains America’s largest trading partner in the world but it’s a lopsided deal: In 2018, China took in $179 billion in imports from the U.S. while we imported $557 billion in goods --- more than a half-trillion dollars --- from an authoritarian country that engages in intellectual property theft, currency manipulation, and slave labor.
Heritage Foundation analyst Riley Walters tells OneNewsNow the Trump administration’s action on September 1 imposed a 15 percent tax on approximately $120 billion of goods flowing to the U.S. from China.
“This is in addition,” he says, “to a 25 percent tax that's already on $250 billion worth of goods."
The most recent tax touches on consumer goods, such as electronics and apparel, and the previous tax that kicked in earlier this year hits industrial goods that manufacturers and producers would purchase for business.
Beginning October 1, the 25 percent tax on $250 billion worth of goods will increase to 30 percent and on December 15, another $180 billion worth of goods will be subject to a tax of 15 percent.
Trump has stated repeatedly that China is hurt by the tariffs, forcing its leaders to negotiate with the U.S., but many others have pointed out that American consumers are hurt because we pay more for the products.
"China isn't paying tariffs. You are," Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto told the audience in a live broadcast last month after Trump spoke to reporters.
Riley points out that the Trump administration complained two years that China is bullying U.S. companies and stealing their intellectual property. But imposing tariffs is not the best way to fight back, he insists.
"If it's an issue of theft for example,” he says, “we can find those companies and we can sanction them because the U.S. dollar -- not just in the U.S. market but in the global economy -- it's a very powerful tool, and cutting off those companies' ability to actually use the U.S. dollar is a very effective motivator."