Tariffs war with China has hurt almost every segment of the US economy
Earlier this month, the US President, Donald Trump, suddenly revealed that a trade agreement between the US and China was not imminent after all. On the contrary, on 10 May the Trump administration raised its previous 10% tariff on $200bn (£158bn) worth of Chinese goods to 25% and threatened to apply the same rate to the remaining $300bn or so of US imports from China by late June. China then retaliated with reciprocal tariffs on $60bn worth of US exports, effective 1 June. Surprised stock markets fell in response, with the S&P 500 down 4% over the first week of the renewed trade war.
US trade policy is a hot mess of conflicting goals. Given the current impasse in talks with China, and Trump’s general unpredictability, the inconsistencies of US trade policy – and their costs – are unlikely to go away soon.
To say that both countries gain overall from trade is not to claim that every citizen of each country benefits