Report: Trump’s Trade Deal Won’t Cut Chinese Tariffs Until After 2020 Election


Trump's tariffs on China will stay in place until after the American presidential election in November.

President Donald Trump’s tariffs on billions of dollars of Chinese goods coming into the U.S. are likely to stay in place until after the American presidential election, according to Bloomberg.

Both China and the U.S. have a mutual understanding that no sooner than 10 months after the signing of the agreement at the White House Wednesday, the U.S. will review progress and potentially consider additional cuts affecting $360 billion of imports from China. 

The period of review will not have an affect on the halving of the 15% tariff on about $120 billion in Chinese goods announced in December. 

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin denied that there was a path for China to win U.S. tariff relief before the two countries reach a phase two accord. 

“These tariffs will stay in place until there’s a phase two. If the president gets a phase two quickly he’ll consider releasing tariffs as part of phase two,” Mnuchin said. “If not, there won’t be any tariff relief. So it has nothing to do with the election or anything else. There’s no secret agreements.”

After the first phase takes effect, the U.S. will maintain 25% tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese imports and a 7.5% levy on another $120 billion. China has committed to exempt certain U.S. products from its duties and will increase purchases of American agricultural goods such as soybeans and pork. 

Meanwhile, administration officials have continued to downplay the negative effects of Trump’s trade war. White House trade adviser Peter Navorro said in a column for the Wall Street Journal that mainstream economists were failing to account for what he said were the beneficial economic effects of the tariffs.

“Americans should welcome this analysis warmly -- especially in the heartland, where the ugly predictions of the anti-tariff forecasters seem so out of touch with the beautiful realities of the Trump economy,” he wrote. 

Trump said last week that talks on the phase two accord could begin immediately but might not finish until after the Nov. 3 election. 

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