On Tuesday, April 3rd, the Trump administration announced its most recent initiative to impose tariffs on Chinese imports. If enacted, 25% levies will be applied to over 1,300 products. This trade measure follows a series of tariffs imposed on solar panels, aluminum, and steel.

In wake of an ongoing investigation of allegations regarding China’s unfair trade practices surrounding the intellectual property theft of American innovation and technology, the imports selected for the tariff proposal target in-demand technologies established in China’s state-led economic development program,  Made in China 2025. Products subjected to the proposed tariffs include items that are essential in constructing consumer electronics. While some imports are basic products such as flat-screen televisions, smart appliances, medical devices, and aircraft parts, many of the Chinese-manufactured products include high-tech and machinery components that are critical to leading American industries. The proposed tariffs would be implemented on an estimated $50 billion in Chinese exports to the U. S.

Growing concerns of a trade war between the world’s two largest economies persist as China implemented a 25% retaliatory tariff on over 100 U.S. exports totaling $3 billion worth of products. In a statement provided by the United States’ Chinese Embassy, officials stated their proposal is “of equal scale and strength against U.S. products in accordance with Chinese law.”

The proposed Chinese levies include duties on soybeans, cars and airplanes, generating a total of $50 billion. China purchases 61% of total U.S. soybean exports, and more than 30% of overall U.S. soybean production. As Georgia is home to many of the nation’s most significant producers in the agriculture and food industry, 25% tariffs on American goods will have a disadvantageous impact on the United States’ economy. According to the National Corn Growers Association, the United States is expected to export $139.5 billion in agricultural goods in 2018.

On May 15th, the administration will hold a public hearing for further consideration. Companies have until May 22nd, to file final objections in support or opposition of the proposed tariffs. As the state’s largest business advocate, the Georgia Chamber supports free trade agreements to expand global market access to U.S. companies and their products. It is a long-standing Chamber position to oppose trade restrictions that prevent the elimination of duplicate layers of burdensome regulations which stifle economic growth. The Georgia Chamber is dedicated to working with the United States Chamber and our Congressional delegation to protect the benefits of free market trade.

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