Maine Delegation issues joint statement regarding China's retaliatory tariffs on lobster

US President Donald Trump Trump says he'll confront China

The president's move to target $50 billion worth of Chinese imports for additional duties of 25 percent includes parts for planes, printed circuit boards, light emitting diodes and optical fibers, according to a list by the Office of the United States Trade Representative.

The USTR official said the tariffs were aimed at changing China's behavior on its technology transfer policies and massive subsidies to develop high-tech industries. According to the World Trade Organization, the president is correct.

The White House placed the tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports to punish intellectual property crime and other unfair trade practices that the administration blames for a large trade deficit. That doesn't sound like a lot of money until you realize it will leave the company with $25 million in lost revenue each year.

It's worth noting that we don't actually "charge a country" to sell their products in the U.S. But, the spokesman also called the US tariffs "deeply regrettable".

Republican Kevin Brady said it was "encouraging" that the administration had revised the initial list but urged the White House to further narrow the items subject to the tariffs.

ZTE last week agreed to pay a $1 billion fine to the US government to end a crippling supplier ban imposed after it broke an agreement to discipline executives who conspired to evade USA sanctions on Iran and North Korea.

"Both U.S. and Chinese exporters will suffer considerable economic losses while these punitive tariffs are in place, and many Asian countries that are part of the Chinese manufacturing supply chain will also suffer collateral damage in this escalating trade war". The WTO's interactive map highlights the "simple average applied MFN tariff" (Most Favored Nation) of various countries.

However this time, much like the Canadian (among others) steel import tariffs, things are for real.




"President Trump is fixated with tariffs, which he believes he can wield freely; but there are grave consequences to the use of tariffs", said AAFA president Rick Helfenbein. "It is American taxpayers-businesses and workers-who will literally pay for these tariffs".

Trump's trade representatives have been trying to persuade other countries to lower their barriers to level the trading field, which is the right solution. It authorizes the U.S. President to impose tariffs when it is in the interest of American "national security".

China's announcement could have major ramifications for the US seafood industry and for the economy of ME, which is home to most of the country's lobster fishery.

Trump is pressing Beijing to narrow its trade surplus with the United States and roll back its plans for state-led development of Chinese global competitors in technology fields including electric cars, renewable energy, artificial intelligence and biotechnology. In a statement Friday, he said trade with China "has been very unfair, for a very long time". It's not clear that any of the G-7 leaders took him seriously, but they should.

Businesses in both countries, but especially the United States, are growing increasingly concerned that the dispute could escalate further and chill global economic growth. At best, it would likely only reduce it. If they go after soybeans and corn, Minnesota could be badly hurt.

Since becoming president, Trump has unleashed numerous trade battles, including with countries considered traditional USA allies.

Merrill Matthews is a resident scholar with the Institute for Policy Innovation in Dallas, Texas. That puts facts in front of the public, not just accusations.

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