President Donald Trump announced an estimated $50 billion in tariffs against Chinese imports today. Bloomberg says it’s a retaliatory move against intellectual property violations.
The move will take effect on more than 100 different types of Chinese products. The overall value of the tariffs was based on economic estimates of the damage caused by those intellectual property violations.
Last year, Bloomberg says Trump instructed U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to look into claims that China steals U.S. intellectual property and forces American companies to transfer their technical know-how to Chinese firms as a condition for doing business in the country. Lighthizer confirmed in testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday that the administration is considering both tariffs and curbs on Chinese investment.
U.S. companies like Walmart and Amazon have warned the White House that tariffs on Chinese goods will hit consumers with higher prices. The Wall Street Journal says China plans on hitting back against Trump tariffs by targeting goods from states and industries that tend to employ Trump supporters. Ways and Means Chair Kevin Brady cautioned Lighthizer and the administration about “indiscriminate” tariffs against China, noting that “it’s not about backing down, it’s about hitting the target.”