April 2nd, 2018 | By Megan Cassella
The U.S. economy and particularly its agricultural sector will soon feel some of the first effects of retaliation against President Donald Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs, after China announced on Sunday it would be levying duties on 128 different U.S. products beginning today.
The move comes just over a week after Beijing unveiled the list of products — which is valued at around $3 billion — that it was considering targeting with tariffs if the two countries were unable to resolve the issue via a dialogue at the World Trade Organization. China will impose a 15 percent tariff increase on goods including American fruit and nuts and add a 25 percent tariff on pork, recycled aluminum and other goods, the government said.
China formally launched its case and requested consultations under the WTO Safeguards Agreement a week ago but said it would prefer to resolve the trade dispute through dialogue. The decision to move forward with the duties today, long before the 30-day consultation period wrapped up, could be an indication that the U.S. somehow made clear it was not willing to negotiate or remove the tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. Neither the White House nor the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative responded to a request for comment Sunday evening.
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