Hot off a contemptuous meeting at the G7 Summit after which Trump seemed intent on starting a trade war with Canada—and following whatever the hell just happened in Singapore—Trump turned his sights back to China on Friday by announcing $50 billion in tariffs on Chinese “high-tech” goods.
President Trump floated the idea of imposing taxes on Chinese tech imports a few months ago, perhaps with hopes that tariffs (or the threat of tariffs) would help balance the U.S.’ trade deficit and protect domestic businesses, but the order didn’t become official until today.
While the White House has yet to give a specific list of products that will be subject to the tariff, in the memo released this morning Trump called out products listed in China’s “Made in China 2025" plan. Those products range from high-performance biomedical devices to robotics and products from China’s growing aerospace industry.
Apart from the high-tech products listed above, the Made in China 2025 plan also includes a lot of consumer electronics such as phones, laptops, and flat-panel displays. This means there’s a chance that many of the gadgets we buy could see a noticeable bump in price when sold in the U.S.
Trump says “if China engages in retaliatory measures,” which is almost sure to happen, the U.S. will pursue additional tariffs. I don’t know about you, but if that doesn’t sound like a trade war, I’m not sure what does.