WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump’s “America First” trade policy torched a 70-year consensus on trade liberalization, drew a harder line against China’s state-driven economic model and erected new tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, alienating allies.
Trump is touting his efforts to protect American workers and a Phase 1 trade deal with China that promises to boost U.S. exports as closing arguments in Tuesday’s presidential election.
Economic data so far shows mixed results from that effort, with some sectors gaining at the expense of others, but with little change in the overall U.S. trade deficit for goods and services.
Since 2018, Trump has imposed punitive tariffs on imported washing machines, solar panels, steel, aluminum and goods from China and Europe, with Chinese imports accounting for most of the nearly $80 billion collected so far. tmsnrt.rs/3kIptfx
Graphic: Trump’s trade remedy tariff collections Trump’s trade remedy tariff collections –
The tariff war against China started with a 2017 investigation into longstanding U.S. complaints about Chinese state-driven economic policies, including intellectual property theft, forced technology transfers and rampant subsidies to state-owned firms that were pushing the U.S. trade deficit higher.
Business interests largely supported the goals of the “Section 301” probe, but warned that tariffs would hurt U.S. competitiveness by raising input costs.