WASHINGTON—Some business sectors were nervous, others encouraged at President Trump raising tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods even as a Chinese delegation was en route to Washington to continue trade talks with the U.S.
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative issued a notice May 8 for May 9 publication in the Federal Register, stating that all Chinese goods which received tariffs of 10 percent in September 2018 will have those tariffs raised to 25 percent as of May 10.
This list, which covers 5,745 separate items and runs to 194 pages of text, includes virtually every type of pneumatic tire; many rubber chemicals, synthetic rubbers and grades of natural rubber; and rubber auto and industrial parts including V-belts, conveyor belts, tubes, pipes and hoses.
In the notice, USTR also said it would establish a process by which individuals and companies affected by the tariffs may request that particular products be excluded from the additional duties.
In a May 8 statement, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said it would retaliate against higher U.S. tariffs.
"If the U.S. tariffs are implemented, China will have to take necessary countermeasures," the ministry said.
The Auto Care Association, the National Retail Federation and the American Chemistry Council were among the business groups urging Trump to reconsider raising tariffs.
On the other hand, the Alliance for American Manufacturing cheered Trump's stance against unfair Chinese trade practices. Retread Instead, a coalition of retreaders that promotes the economic and environmental advantages of retreading, said new tariffs would be helpful to retreaders, though not as much as the antidumping and countervailing duties levied against Chinese truck and bus tires earlier this year.
In two tweets May 5, Trump said he would institute the new tariffs, which he sanctioned under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974. He also said he would place 25% tariffs on another $325 billion worth of Chinese goods, but the May 8 USTR notice did not mention that.
Section 301 allows the president to take remedial action against imports from countries that commit unfair trade practices against U.S. goods.
Trump originally planned to institute the 25% tariffs Jan. 1 of this year. He later moved the date to March 1, then finally postponed them indefinitely pending the results of trade talks with China.
However, Trump on May 5 said he believed the tariffs were working and should be raised.
"For 10 months, China has been paying Tariffs to the USA of 25% on 50 Billion Dollars of High Tech, and 10% on 200 Billion Dollars of other goods," he wrote. "These payments are partially responsible for our great economic results."
Trump doubled down on his comments May 8, saying his proposals to raise tariffs were having the desired effect on the Chinese.
"The reason for the China pullback & attempted renegotiation of the Trade Deal is the sincere HOPE that they will be able to 'negotiate' with Joe Biden or one of the very weak Democrats, and thereby continue to ripoff the United States ($500 Billion a year) for years to come…" Trump tweeted.