Trump Administration examining options on raising import tariffs on Chinese automobiles

The development comes just days before U.S. President Donald Trump is set to meet his Chinese counterpart in Buenos Aires. The outcome of the meet could either ease or worsen the growing trade war.

Robert Lighthizer, the U.S. Trade Representative, stated the Administration is examining all available options including raising U.S. import tariffs on Chinese vehicles to match the 40% import duty that China has placed on U.S.-made vehicles.

Critical of China’s “egregious” tariffs on U.S. autos, Lighthizer stated he was contemplating such action at the behest of President Donald Trump.

Lighthizer’s statement comes just days before Trump is scheduled to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping in Buenos Aires. The meet could ease or worsen the trade war between the two economies.

The Trump administration aims to bring about sweeping changes to China’s state-backed, rather than market-driven, economic policies; this includes setting up new protections for U.S. intellectual property, an end to joint-venture requirements, an increase in access to U.S. firms in China and cuts to China’s industrial subsidies.

“As the President has repeatedly noted, China’s aggressive, State-directed industrial policies are causing severe harm to U.S. workers and manufacturers,” said Lighthizer. “We are continuing to raise these issues with China. As of yet, China has not come to the table with proposals for meaningful reform.”


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