Any United States resident who’s even glanced at a television in the past six months is well aware of the fact that the United States of America and the People’s Republic of China are in the midst of an ongoing trade war. As nothing more than a writer, I’m in no place to suggest whether placing tariffs on countless goods, going back and forth between one another and threatening to tack even more tariffs on imports into each country, and engaging in a full-on trade war is a good idea or not.
However, it seems safe to say that nothing is being accomplished by the trade war outside of making each other angry and potentially putting businesses out of commission.
Recently – earlier today, on Thursday, August 23, 2018, in terms of Chinese time; keep in mind that China’s side of the planet is ahead several hours, whereas the United States and the rest of the Americas are several hours behind – the trade war between China and the United States reached an all-new level of absurdity.
Both countries enacted tariffs in the capacity of 25 percent on roughly $16 billion in goods exported by each country into the other.
The United States and China have effectively enacted tariffs in the same capacities and total dollar amounts, giving other countries’ export economies a greater chance of succeeding.
Since July 2018 – nearly three months ago – both countries have paid roughly $100 billion in tariffs on various products.
But how did the trade war start?
In late January 2018, current United States President Donald Trump enacted a 30 percent tariff on solar panels imported from other countries; after four years – in late January 2022 – the tariff on such solar panels will drop to 15 percent.
On the same day that US President Trump enacted solar panel tariffs, he put a tariff of 20 percent on foreign washing machines brought into the United States. 20 percent would be added to each unit until 1.2 million units had entered the United States; afterward, no tariffs would be charged.
Government officials in the People’s Republic of China felt that the washing machine tariff was aimed directly at itself because China has pumped roughly $425 million in washing machines to the United States throughout 2016.
Two months down the line is when the trade war really kicked off