Tariffs on Another $100 Billion Would Cripple U.S. Growth

By Gary Shapiro

President Donald Trump’s announcement Thursday that he would seek additional tariffs on $100 billion in Chinese imports — on top of tariffs for the $50 billion in imported products already announced — escalates the United States’ economic confrontation with China, and worse yet, ups the massive risk to American households.

Following the administration’s initial announcement of its intent to apply 25 percent tariffs, China’s response was immediate.

But Thursday evening, the president called for $100 billion of tariffs, rather than the value of the products on which additional tariffs are placed. A spokesperson for the U.S. Trade Representative later clarified that the tariffs would apply to $100 billion in products. Still, these numbers are alarming and the language is cause for confusion. A 25 percent tariff on $50 billion of products is a big threat — and, along with the Chinese retaliation, would dramatically hurt our economy.

Last night’s announcement, if acted on, would be crippling and could reverse the real economic good President Trump has done by slashing taxes, cutting rules and inspiring companies to hire Americans and raise wages.

The new announcement matters. My father taught me that as a parent I should never make a threat I am not willing to carry out. I have followed this credo to be not only a successful father, but also a successful manager and executive. I don’t make many threats. I limit my promises and try to keep my word. My philosophy is to keep expectations low, then exceed them.

We are hurtling toward cutting economic ties with China altogether. We need to come to the table with China — quickly — and agree to a trade deal that works for them and for us. At this rate, the U.S. is only hurting itself.