US trade representative’s office to hear corporations’ case against tariffs

US trade representative’s office to hear corporations’ case against tariffs

President Trump has proposed $50 billion in tariffs on Chinese imports.

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Photo: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

Today begins three days of trade hearings in which US corporations will make their case against President Trump’s proposed $50 billion in tariffs on Chinese imports.

Introduced as a response to unfair intellectual property practices, the tariffs have been met with large international criticism for fear of a trade war. Earlier this month China responded in turn, threatening to impose a similar amount in levies on over 100 US imports including soybeans, and automobiles.

US companies have been largely critical of Trump’s protectionist policies, citing added costs to both manufacturers and consumers despite the President’s promises. Recently, the tariffs have turned into somewhat of a bargaining chip for the Trump administration as negotiations between Washington and Beijing continue this week.

Do not expect these hearings to hold much sway over Washington’s trade policy. Instead, Trump will likely continue upping the ante — betting on China preferring to come to an agreement rather than risk a trade war. Such a standoff would spell disaster for both Chinese and American consumers, far more than today’s debated tariffs.

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