July 2, 2018 / 4:56 AM / 9 months ago

Crossfire of tariffs as Trump rattles world trade order

(Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump has rattled the world trade order this year by seeking to renegotiate the terms of some of the United States’ trading relationships, in particular with China. He has imposed tariffs on some imports, in turn sparking retaliatory action by other countries, raising fears of a global trade war.

U.S. President Donald Trump looks on aboard Air Force One en route to Bedminster, New Jersey, from Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, U.S., June 29, 2018. REUTERS/Eric Thayer

The following tracks the tit-for-tat trade actions and threats this year:

Jan 22:

U.S. President Donald Trump slaps steep tariffs on imported solar panels and washing machines. They take effect Feb 7.

Washing Year 1 Year 2 Year 3


First 1.2 mln 20 18 16

imports (pct)

Subsequent 50 45 40

imports (pct)

Tariff on 50 45 40

covered parts


Covered parts 50,000 70,000 90,000

excluded from units units units


Solar Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4


Tariff on 30 25 20 15

cells and



Exempted 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5

cells gigawatts gigawatts gigawatts gigawatts

Feb 1:

South Korea’s trade minister says the country’s trade representatives have made a strong complaint to the United States about U.S. measures on imported washing machines and solar panels. Feb 4:

China launches an anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigation into imports of sorghum from the United States, less than a fortnight after U.S. President Donald Trump slapped steep tariffs on imports of solar panels and washing machines Feb 27:

China removes anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on U.S. white-feathered broiler chickens, ending a years-long dispute between the world’s largest economies after a World Trade Organization ruling in January. March 8:

U.S. President Donald Trump presses ahead with import tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminium, exempting Canada and Mexico.

March 12:

South Korea’s finance ministry says South Korea will “deploy all possible means” to respond to U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminium imports. March 23:

United States implements tariffs on steel imports (25 percent) and aluminium (10 percent). Grants exemptions for Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and the European Union. March 26:

The European Union launches an investigation into whether U.S. import tariffs warranted measures to prevent mainly Asian producers flooding Europe with steel.. The EU could implement provisional measures – tariffs or quotas – in July. April 2:

China increases tariffs by up to 25 percent on 128 U.S. products, from frozen pork and wine to certain fruits and nuts, in response to U.S. duties on aluminium and steel imports April 3:

Washington proposes 25 percent tariffs on some 1,300 industrial technology, transport and medical products from China worth $50 billion to try to force changes in Beijing’s intellectual property practices. April 4:

Beijing retaliates, threatening 25 percent additional tariffs on 106 U.S. goods worth $50 billion, including signature items like soybeans, cotton, planes, cars, beef, tobacco and whiskey April 6:

South Korea says it has notified the World Trade Organization that it is seeking to suspend tariff concessions on imported U.S. goods worth $480 million in response to U.S. measures against South Korean imports. April 18:

China slaps hefty anti-dumping deposits on imports of U.S. sorghum as Beijing continued its probe into dumping of the grain. April 30:

U.S. President Donald Trump postpones the imposition of steel and aluminium tariffs on Canada, the European Union and Mexico until June 1, and says he has reached agreements for permanent exemptions for Argentina, Australia and Brazil. May 14:

South Korea says it has taken a dispute to the WTO against the United States for imposing tariffs on washing machines and solar panels as the measures were deemed to be in violation of the WTO agreement. May 17:

EU leaders propose discussions with Washington to remove tariffs on industrial products, including cars, to prevent a potential trade war. May 19:

Beijing dropped its anti-dumping probe into imports of U.S. sorghum amid concerns about rising costs and financial damage at home. May 22:

The World Trade Organization says Japan, Russia and Turkey have warned the United States about potential retaliation for its tariffs on steel and aluminium. Russia said the U.S. tariffs would add duties of $538 million to its annual steel and aluminium exports. Japan puts the sum at $440 million and Turkey puts it at $267 million. May 23:

A World Trade Organization filing shows India has launched a complaint against the United States to challenge U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminium. May 31:

Canada says it will impose retaliatory tariffs on C$16.6 billion of U.S. exports from July 1 until the United States lifts its own measures. They include 25 percent tariffs on iron and steel products, and 10 percent tariffs on a variety of items including food, orange juice, whiskey, aluminium products and toiletries. (For the lists of U.S. products, see: bit.ly/2xtZlkz) June 1:

The United States introduces import quotas for steel from Argentina, Brazil and South Korea to replace tariffs. It also introduces an import quota for aluminium from Argentina. It permanently exempts Australia from the steel and aluminium tariffs. June 5:

Mexico imposes tariffs with immediate effect on American products ranging from steel to pork and bourbon in response to import duties on metals adopted by the United States. June 8:

China imposed temporary anti-dumping measures on imports of broiler chicken from Brazil after finding that the domestic industry had been substantially damaged. June 15:

The U.S. Trade Representative's (USTR) office revises its China tariff list, targeting $34 billion of goods for tariffs to take effect on July 6, deleting flat panel television sets, air conditioning parts and some aluminium alloys. (here.pdf)

The USTR also unveils a second set of $16 billion of products for tariffs to take effect later in the year after allowing for a period of public comment. This list adds semiconductors, vaping devices and some construction materials. (here.pdf) June 16:

China says it will impose additional tariffs on 659 U.S. goods imported into China that are worth $50 billion, in response to a U.S. announcement it will levy tariffs on Chinese imports.

Goods China imports from the United States:





Bovine 25

Swine 25 25

Poultry 25

Marine 25

Dairy 25

Edible vegetables, 25

roots, tubers

Fresh, dried fruit, 15 25


Cereals 25

Flour milling 25

Soybeans 25

American ginseng 15

Swedes, mangolds, 25

fodder roots

Other vegetables 25

Preparations of 25


beverages, spirits,


Preparations of 25

vegetables, fruit,

nuts, plants

Wine of fresh 15


Ethanol 15 25

Whiskey 25

Food residues, 25

prepared animal


Manufactured 25

tobacco, tobacco


Cotton 25

Iron, steel tubes, 15

pipes, seamless

Aluminium scrap 25

Vehicles, other 25

than railway,

tramway or parts

Coal 25

Chemicals 25

Petroleum products, 25

crude oil

Organic chemicals, 25

pharma products

Organic surface 25

active agents,



Starches, glues, 25


Rubber, plastics, 25

synthetic fibres

Optical, 25


medical, surgical


June 18:

Trump threatens to impose a 10 percent tariff on $200 billion of Chinese goods. Trump says he has asked U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to draw up a list of potential new tariffs and is prepared to target another $200 billion in Chinese goods if Beijing retaliates a second time. June 20:

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says his department had made decisions on the first 98 requests for steel product exclusions by companies, approving 41 and rejecting 56. The exclusions cover seven different companies importing steel products from Japan, Sweden, Belgium, Germany and China. Commerce is also investigating recent steel price hikes in the United States to determine whether some market participants are “illegitimately profiteering” from new tariffs. June 21:

India, the world’s biggest buyer of U.S. almonds, raised import duties on the nuts and other items, a government order said. Goods India imports from the United States:



Almonds 20

Walnuts 120

Apples 75

Chickpeas 70

Bengal gram 70

Lentils 40

Artemia 15

Inorganic 17.5 to 20


Diagnostic 20


Some flat-rolled 20 to 27.5

alloy, non-alloy,

steel and

stainless steel

Iron and steel 25

June 22:

The European Union imposes duties of 25 percent on 2.8 billion euros of  U.S. imports in response to U.S. tariffs imposed on EU steel and aluminium. The U.S. products targeted include bourbon, jeans and motor-bikes. The list of these products can be found here (here) June 22:

Trump threatens Europe with a 20 percent tariff on all U.S. imports of cars assembled in the European Union. The United States currently imposes a 2.5 percent tariff on imported passenger cars from the European Union and a 25 percent tariff on imported pickup trucks. The EU currently imposes a 10 percent tariff on imported U.S. cars. June 26:

China said it will remove import tariffs on animal feed ingredients including soybeans, soymeal and rapeseed on supplies from five Asian countries, a sign Beijing is seeking alternative supplies of the commodities as its trade dispute with the United States escalates.

Trump says the U.S. government is completing a study about increasing import tariffs on cars from the European Union. June 27:

Trump says he will use a strengthened version of a U.S. national security review committee to curb China’s acquisitions of U.S. firms with sensitive technologies, taking a softer line on investment restrictions. He ignores China hawks in his cabinet, who have argued for China-specific investment restrictions drawn up under an emergency economic sanctions law. Under legislation expected soon to pass the U.S. Congress, the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States (CFIUS) will expand the transactions it can review on national security grounds to minority stakes, joint ventures and property purchases near U.S. military facilities. July 1:

Canada strikes back at the Trump administration over U.S. steel and aluminium tariffs, imposing punitive measures on C$16.6 billion ($12.63 billion) of American goods. They include 25 percent tariffs on iron and steel products and 10 percent tariffs on a variety of items including foodstuffs such as coffee, ketchup and whiskies and aluminium products, according to a list by the Department of Finance. (tinyurl.com/y8w5g895) July 6:

The United States is due to impose tariffs on $34 billion of goods it imports from China. (here.pdf)

Reporting by Asia bureaus, Phil Blenkinsop in BRUSSELS, David Lawder in WASHINGTON; Editing by Neil Fullick

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