June 18, 2018
The White House

Statement from the President Regarding Trade with China

On Friday, I announced plans for tariffs on $50 billion worth of imports from China.  These tariffs are being imposed to encourage China to change the unfair practices identified in the Section 301 action with respect to technology and innovation.  They also serve as an initial step toward bringing balance to our trade relationship with China.
However and unfortunately, China has determined that it will raise tariffs on $50 billion worth of United States exports.  China apparently has no intention of changing its unfair practices related to the acquisition of American intellectual property and technology.  Rather than altering those practices, it is now threatening United States companies, workers, and farmers who have done nothing wrong.
This latest action by China clearly indicates its determination to keep the United States at a permanent and unfair disadvantage, which is reflected in our massive $376 billion trade imbalance in goods.  This is unacceptable.  Further action must be taken to encourage China to change its unfair practices, open its market to United States goods, and accept a more balanced trade relationship with the United States.
Therefore, today, I directed the United States Trade Representative to identify $200 billion worth of Chinese goods for additional tariffs at a rate of 10 percent.  After the legal process is complete, these tariffs will go into effect if China refuses to change its practices, and also if it insists on going forward with the new tariffs that it has recently announced.  If China increases its tariffs yet again, we will meet that action by pursuing additional tariffs on another $200 billion of goods.  The trade relationship between the United States and China must be much more equitable. 
I have an excellent relationship with President Xi, and we will continue working together on many issues.  But the United States will no longer be taken advantage of on trade by China and other countries in the world.  


We will continue using all available tools to create a better and fairer trading system for all Americans.



June 15, 2018
The White House

Statement by the President Regarding Trade with China

My great friendship with President Xi of China and our country’s relationship with China are both very important to me.  Trade between our nations, however, has been very unfair, for a very long time.  This situation is no longer sustainable.  China has, for example, long been engaging in several unfair practices related to the acquisition of American intellectual property and technology.  These practices, documented in an extensive report published by the United States Trade Representative (USTR) on March 22, 2018, harm our economic and national security and deepen our already massive trade imbalance with China.

In light of China’s theft of intellectual property and technology and its other unfair trade practices, the United States will implement a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion of goods from China that contain industrially significant technologies.  This includes goods related to China’s Made in China 2025 strategic plan to dominate the emerging high-technology industries that will drive future economic growth for China, but hurt economic growth for the United States and many other countries.  The United States can no longer tolerate losing our technology and intellectual property through unfair economic practices.

These tariffs are essential to preventing further unfair transfers of American technology and intellectual property to China, which will protect American jobs.  In addition, they will serve as an initial step toward bringing balance to the trade relationship between the United States and China.
The United States will pursue additional tariffs if China engages in retaliatory measures, such as imposing new tariffs on United States goods, services, or agricultural products; raising non-tariff barriers; or taking punitive actions against American exporters or American companies operating in China.

Office of the U.S. Trade Representative

USTR Issues Tariffs on Chinese Products in Response to Unfair Trade Practices

Washington, DC – The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) today released a list of products imported from China that will be subject to additional tariffs as part of the U.S. response to China’s unfair trade practices related to the forced transfer of American technology and intellectual property. 
On May 29, 2018, President Trump stated that USTR shall announce by June 15 the imposition of an additional duty of 25 percent on approximately $50 billion worth of Chinese imports containing industrially significant technologies, including those related to China’s “Made in China 2025” industrial policy.  Today’s action comes after an exhaustive Section 301 investigation in which USTR found that China’s acts, policies and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property, and innovation are unreasonable and discriminatory, and burden U.S. commerce. 

“We must take strong defensive actions to protect America’s leadership in technology and innovation against the unprecedented threat posed by China’s theft of our intellectual property, the forced transfer of American technology, and its cyber attacks on our computer networks,” said Ambassador Robert Lighthizer.  “China’s government is aggressively working to undermine America’s high-tech industries and our economic leadership through unfair trade practices and industrial policies like ‘Made in China 2025.’  Technology and innovation are America’s greatest economic assets and President Trump rightfully recognizes that if we want our country to have a prosperous future, we must take a stand now to uphold fair trade and protect American competitiveness.”

The list of products issued today covers 1,102 separate U.S. tariff lines valued at approximately $50 billion in 2018 trade values.  This list was compiled based on extensive interagency analysis and a thorough examination of comments and testimony from interested parties.  It generally focuses on products from industrial sectors that contribute to or benefit from the “Made in China 2025” industrial policy, which include industries such as aerospace, information and communications technology, robotics, industrial machinery, new materials, and automobiles.  The list does not include goods commonly purchased by American consumers such as cellular telephones or televisions.

This list of products consists of two sets of U.S tariff lines.  The first set contains 818 lines of the original 1,333 lines that were included on the proposed list published on April 6.  These lines cover approximately $34 billion worth of imports from China.  USTR has determined to impose an additional duty of 25 percent on these 818 product lines after having sought and received views from the public and advice from the appropriate trade advisory committees.  Customs and Border Protection will begin to collect the additional duties on July 6, 2018.

The second set contains 284 proposed tariff lines identified by the interagency Section 301 Committee as benefiting from Chinese industrial policies, including the “Made in China 2025” industrial policy.  These 284 lines, which cover approximately $16 billion worth of imports from China, will undergo further review in a public notice and comment process, including a public hearing.  After completion of this process, USTR will issue a final determination on the products from this list that would be subject to the additional duties.

USTR recognizes that some U.S. companies may have an interest in importing items from China that are covered by the additional duties. Accordingly, USTR will soon provide an opportunity for the public to request the exclusion of particular products from the additional duties subject to this action.  USTR will issue a notice in the Federal Register with details regarding this process within the next few weeks.
President Trump announced on March 22, 2018, that USTR shall publish a proposed list of products and any intended tariff increases in order to address the acts, policies, and practices of China that are unreasonable or discriminatory and that burden or restrict U.S. commerce. 
These acts, policies and practices of China include those that coerce American companies into transferring their technology and intellectual property to domestic Chinese enterprises.  They bolster China’s stated intention of seizing economic dominance of certain advanced technology sectors as set forth in its industrial plans, such as “Made in China 2025.”  (See USTR Section 301 Report here.)

On April 3, USTR announced a proposed list of 1,333 products that may be subject to an additional duty of 25 percent, and sought comments from interested persons and the appropriate trade advisory committees.

Interested persons filed approximately 3,200 written submissions.  In addition, USTR and the Section 301 Committee convened a three-day public hearing from May 15-17, 2018, during which 121 witnesses provided testimony and responded to questions. The public submissions and a transcript of the hearing are available on www.regulations.gov in docket number USTR-2018-0005.

Sample Reactions
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang's Remarks on the US' Announcement of Trade Measures Against China

Q: On the night of June 15 Beijing time, the Office of US Trade Representative (USTR) published a list of Chinese goods subject to additional tariffs. What's your comment?

A: I have to stress that China and the US have conducted several rounds of negotiations in an attempt to resolve our differences and achieve win-win results. It is deeply regrettable that in disregard of the consensus between the two sides, the US has demonstrated flip-flops and ignited a trade war. This move not only hurts bilateral interests, but also undermines world trade order. The Chinese side firmly opposes that.

China doesn't want a trade war. However, confronted by such short-sighted act that hurts both US itself and others, China has no choice but to fight back forcefully, to firmly safeguard the interests of the nation and its people and uphold economic globalization and the multilateral trading system. We will immediately take tariff measures of the same scale and intensity. All economic and trade outcomes of the previous talks will now lose effect.

Waging a trade war doesn't conform to global interests nowadays. We call on all countries to take collective actions to firmly curb such outdated and regressive move and steadfastly safeguard the common interests of the mankind.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)


Washington, D.C. –  U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) released the following statement after President Trump announced trade actions on $50 billion in Chinese goods containing industrially-significant technologies.
“This is an excellent move by President Trump. China is systematically stealing the fruits of American innovation in an attempt to displace us as the most powerful economy and military in the world. Hitting China with a ‘Theft Tax’ isn’t protectionism; it’s American leadership. I strongly support the President’s Section 301 trade actions.”

Senator Rubio first called for trade actions against China utilizing the Administration’s authority under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 in a March op-ed for the New York Times. China’s theft of American intellectual property costs the United States as much as $600 billion annually, eclipsing the combined profits of the top 50 companies in last year’s Fortune 500 list.

Last month, Rubio introduced the Fair Trade with China Enforcement Act, which targets China’stools of economic aggression to make American advanced manufacturing more competitive against unfair trade practices and guard against Chinese influence in the United States. U.S. Representatives Mike Conaway (R-TX) and Tim Ryan (D-OH) introduced House companion legislation, and the bill has been endorsed by the Coalition for a Prosperous America

U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Friday, June 15, 2018 - 8:45am

U.S. Chamber’s Donohue Statement on New Tariffs against China

“This is not the right approach.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue today issued the following statement:

“Imposing tariffs places the cost of China’s unfair trade practices squarely on the shoulders of American consumers, manufacturers, farmers, and ranchers. This is not the right approach.”

The U.S. Chamber has vocally opposed using tariffs – and promoted working with allies – as a way to address China’s trade and investment policies and practices:
  • In his 2018 State of American Business address, Donohue discussed the need to work with U.S. allies “to forge a common response to China’s state capitalism.”
  • In March, the U.S. Chamber led the business community in issuing a formal statement opposing the potential use of tariffs against China – at the time rumored to be roughly $30 billion. A coalition of 45 business organizations led by the U.S. Chamber also sent a letter to the administration highlighting the harmful effects of tariffs.
  • During the U.S. Chamber’s 9th China Business Conference in May, Donohue delivered remarks welcoming United States Trade Representative Ambassador Robert Lighthizer to the Conference. Urging against the use of tariffs, Donohue said, “We need the administration instead to work collectively with U.S. industry, Congress, and our trading partners to adequately address China’s unfair trade practices in ways that maximize the likelihood of real, enforceable solutions – and without inflicting collateral damage on businesses and consumers.”
  • On May 11, the U.S. Chamber submitted comments to USTR regarding its Section 301 investigation into China’s policies and practices. The U.S. Chamber submission recommends four systemic reforms for China to undertake that go beyond limited actions to gradually open select industries.
  • Donohue then traveled to China where he led the 10th U.S.-China CEO Dialogue. Upon returning, he discussed the path forward for the U.S.-China relationship on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” as well as in his weekly commentary.
  • On May 29, Donohue commented on the administration’s decision to move forward with $50 billion in tariffs against China. He said that the new tariffs are “in fact a tax on American consumers and will undermine the competitiveness of American companies.”
  • In a May 31 memo to the U.S. Chamber’s Board of Directors, Donohue sounded the alarm about the potential negative effects the administration’s current approach to trade could have on U.S. consumers, businesses, and economic growth. Donohue focused his June 11 weekly commentary on the same topic.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations. Its International Affairs division includes more than 80 regional and policy experts and 25 country- and region-specific business councils and initiatives. The U.S. Chamber also works closely with 117 American Chambers of Commerce abroad.

National Association of Manufacturers
by Michael Short

Timmons Continues to Press the Trump Administration to Pursue Bilateral Trade Agreement with China

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement on the new 301 tariff list announced today, reiterating manufacturers’ call for an approach that includes a rules-based bilateral trade agreement with China. In January, Timmons sent a letter to President Donald Trump urging him to pursue a trade agreement with China to wholly restructure our economic relationship.

“There is no question that China cheats and that its unfair trade practices and intellectual property theft are hurting America’s manufacturing workers. To put an end to these threats and redefine the U.S.– China economic relationship, manufacturers are calling for a new path forward: a fair, binding, enforceable bilateral trade agreement. This approach would end fears of a trade war, get China to play by the rules and secure manufacturing jobs in the United States. Manufacturers certainly have concerns that tariffs will cause more problems than they solve, but we also recognize that the administration may intend to use them as a negotiating tactic to bring China to the table and achieve larger goals. A trade war never benefits anyone, so rather than pursuing a piecemeal tariffs approach, now is the time to seize the opportunity before us and work toward a U.S.– China trade agreement that will benefit American workers for generations to come.” 



The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12 million men and women, contributes $2.25 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, has the largest economic impact of any major sector and accounts for more than three-quarters of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the Manufacturers or to follow us on Shopfloor, Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Progressive Policy Institute

PPI Statement on Trump Administration’s New China Tariffs & China’s Retaliation

Making American businesses & working families pay billions in new trade taxes won’t change China’s bad behavior

WASHINGTON—Ed Gerwin, Senior Fellow for Trade and Global Opportunity at the Progressive Policy Institute, today released the following statement in response to the Trump Administration’s announcement of new tariffs on Chinese-origin imports and China’s announced retaliation:

“China’s technology mercantilism is a serious threat to America’s economic future that requires a tough and effective American response, but the Trump Administration’s announcement today of $50 billion in duties on Chinese-origin products is not even close to that response.

“Making American businesses and working families pay billions in new trade taxes won’t change China’s bad behavior. Instead, China will respond—as it has already announced—with billions in targeted retaliatory tariffs that will make it much harder for American manufacturers and farmers to export there. It cannot be overstated—these tit-for-tat tariffs will destroy jobs and devastate communities throughout the United States.

“Responding to China’s unfair trade practices and technology theft with “America First” protectionism is a terrible mistake. The Administration’s deeply flawed and poorly focused strategy—based on duties that damage America’s economy and “go-it-alone” trade policies that alienate vital allies—will have large-scale and long-term repercussions.

“Instead of instigating trade wars, the United States should confront China’s unfair trade practices with a targeted, long-term response that enlists our international allies, enforces current trade rules and writes new ones, focuses negotiations on key issues, and ratchets up pressure on China—all while advocating aggressively to keep global markets open. PPI will outline such a strategy in a new report to be released next week.

“Open global markets are manifestly in America’s interest. Given a level playing field, America’s innovative businesses can compete and win anywhere. In trade wars, nearly everyone loses.”


From March 22, 2018

President Trump Announces Strong Actions to Address China’s Unfair Trade

Washington, DC – Today President Trump announced his decisions on the actions the Administration will take in response to China’s unfair trade practices covered in the USTR Section 301 investigation of China’s Acts, Policies, and Practices Related to Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property, and Innovation. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer initiated the investigation in August 2017 at the direction of President Trump.

The President has instructed that the appropriate response to China’s harmful acts, policies and practices should include three separate actions. 

  1. Tariffs – The President has instructed the Trade Representative to publish a proposed list of products and any tariff increases within 15 days of today’s announcement.  After a period of notice and comment, the Trade Representative will publish a final list of products and tariff increases. 
  2. WTO dispute – The President has instructed the Trade Representative to pursue dispute settlement in the World Trade Organization (WTO) to address China’s discriminatory technology licensing practices. 
  3. Investment restrictions – The President has directed the Secretary of the Treasury to address concerns about investment in the United States directed or facilitated by China in industries or technologies deemed important to the United States. 

“President Trump has made it clear we must insist on fair and reciprocal trade with China and strictly enforce our laws against unfair trade.  This requires taking effective action to confront China over its state-led efforts to force, strong-arm, and even steal U.S. technology and intellectual property,” said Ambassador Lighthizer.  “Years of talking about these problems with China has not worked.  The United States is committed to using all available tools to respond to China’s unfair, market-distorting behavior.  China’s unprecedented and unfair trade practices are a serious challenge not just to the United States, but to our allies and partners around the world.”

The Chinese government’s technology transfer and intellectual property policies are part of China’s stated intention of seizing economic leadership in advanced technology as set forth in its industrial plans, such as “Made in China 2025.”

Section 301 is a key enforcement tool that allows the United States to address a wide variety of unfair acts, policies, and practices of U.S. trading partners.  The investigation of China’s Acts, Policies, and Practices Related to Technology Transfer, Intellectual Property, and Innovation addresses four categories of acts, policies, and practices of the Government of China that unfairly result in the transfer of technologies and intellectual property from U.S. companies to China.  These policies harm U.S. businesses and workers and threaten the long-term competitiveness of the United States. 

USTR staff, with the assistance of dozens of experts from across the Administration, prepared a comprehensive report containing detailed findings.  The report is available on the USTR website

The report supports the following conclusions:

  1. China uses foreign ownership restrictions, including joint venture requirements, equity limitations, and other investment restrictions, to require or pressure technology transfer from U.S. companies to Chinese entities.  China also uses administrative review and licensing procedures to require or pressure technology transfer, which, inter alia, undermines the value of U.S. investments and technology and weakens the global competitiveness of U.S. firms.
  2. China imposes substantial restrictions on, and intervenes in, U.S. firms’ investments and activities, including through restrictions on technology licensing terms.  These restrictions deprive U.S. technology owners of the ability to bargain and set market-based terms for technology transfer.  As a result, U.S. companies seeking to license technologies must do so on terms that unfairly favor Chinese recipients.
  3. China directs and facilitates the systematic investment in, and acquisition of, U.S. companies and assets by Chinese companies to obtain cutting-edge technologies and intellectual property and to generate large-scale technology transfer in industries deemed important by Chinese government industrial plans. 
  4. China conducts and supports unauthorized intrusions into, and theft from, the computer networks of U.S. companies. These actions provide the Chinese government with unauthorized access to intellectual property, trade secrets, or confidential business information, including technical data, negotiating positions, and sensitive and proprietary internal business communications, and they also support China’s strategic development goals, including its science and technology advancement, military modernization, and economic development.

The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China likewise concluded in a report entitled “China Manufacturing 2025: Putting Industrial Policy Ahead of Market Forces” that there has been an “unprecedented wave of outbound investments” in recent years from China into firms in industries of relevance to Made in China 2025, and many of these investments have been in areas where foreign business is unable to make equivalent investments in China.

The USTR report also notes, “As the global economy has increased its dependence on information systems in recent years, cyber theft became one of China’s preferred methods of collecting commercial information because of its logistical advantages and plausible deniability.” The report goes on to conclude that “based on available information on China’s cyber intrusions, experts have concluded that China’s cyber intrusions and cyber theft align with its industrial policy goals.”

The full report can be viewed here.

A fact sheet can be viewed here.