Tariff Deadline May Be Pushed Back As Costs On U.S. Businesses Mount

A new round of tariffs on Chinese imports is set to go into effect on December 15, but negotiators on both sides of the dispute are working to push back that deadline. This news comes as a new report from Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, which highlights that, through October 2019, U.S. consumers and businesses have paid an additional $42 billion since the trade war began in February 2018.

Reports coming out of the negotiations between U.S. and Chinese officials suggest that December 15 is not the hard deadline to reach a “phase one deal” between the two countries. Dates have been pushed back before, usually when the sides felt they were close to an agreement.

Staff-level talks between the U.S. and China are under way most days, but it has been approximately two weeks since lead negotiators have spoken. The most significant stumbling block in the phase one talks has been the U.S.’s requirement that China commit to buying more U.S. agricultural products, and the Chinese counter that that these purchases be tied to immediate cuts in existing tariffs. Issues such as government subsidies to Chinese companies and technology transfer have been pushed to future negotiations.

Tariffs Hurt the Heartland reports that in the month of October alone, Americans paid a total of $7.2 billion in tariffs, more than any other amount in U.S. history. That is $1 billion dollars higher than tariffs paid in October 2018. Approximately $4 billion of the $7.2 billion comes from tariffs implemented in the recent trade disputes.

“According to an analysis of data from the president’s own Department of Commerce, American businesses, farmers and consumers—and not China—have paid $42 billion in additional taxes because of these tariffs,” says Americans for Free Trade spokesperson Jonathan Gold. “Yet even when faced with this staggering number, it’s still unclear whether the president will follow through with his threat to raise taxes yet again on December 15 with another rounds of tariffs, this time on primarily consumer-facing products like toys and consumer electronics. This trade war has lasted long enough and done enough damage. It’s time the administration finalize a deal with China to end the trade war and remove all tariffs.”

filed under December 2019 | Tariffs
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