import/export China/USA

Where is the trade dispute between China and the United States at?

The trade dispute between China and the United States has been going on for several months now. It should be recalled that the United States has maintained its position against China from the outset; it is seeking a change in its practices considered unfair, such as the “forced” transfer of technology and the “theft” of intellectual property. In the next few lines, we will provide you with a brief summary of the events marking the trade dispute between China and the United States.

Escalation of tensions 

Last summer, the Trump administration carried out its threats to impose tariffs of 25% on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports, to which China also responded by imposing tariffs on $50 billion worth of US imports. 

Since September 2018, the US government has imposed a new 10% surtax on an additional 200 billion Chinese goods, bringing the amount of overtaxed Chinese goods to some $250 billion. The amount of this new surcharge was scheduled to increase to 25% on January 1, 2019, but this date has been extended to March 1, 2019. At the same time, Beijing responded to this new surtax by announcing tariffs on about $60 billion in additional US products.

See Chapter 99, subchapter 3, article 20 (a) for lists of Chinese products targeted by surcharges.

Current negotiation period

At the G20 Summit in Argentina last December, the United States and China decided to hold a 90-day truce and no longer impose tariffs on each other during this period. The two countries have until March 1, 2019, to reach an agreement. It should be noted that the Sino-American negotiations began in January 2019 in Beijing and were still going at the end of January in Washington. 

WTO Investigations

Recently, China asked the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to investigate the surcharges imposed by the United States on $250 billion of Chinese imports. The WTO has agreed to form an arbitration tribunal to consider the Chinese government’s request.

The WTO is also investigating the 25% and 10% surtaxes applied by the US government to imports of steel and aluminum from various countries over the past year. These investigations were initiated following requests from countries affected by these surcharges.

In Conclusion

If China and the United States fail to reach an agreement by March 1, 2019, the United States will impose 25% tariffs on $200 billion in additional Chinese imports. In the event that Beijing retaliated with similar measures, President Trump threatened to overtax $267 billion in additional Chinese imports. 

Let us hope that an agreement will emerge by the end of the negotiation period and that the conflict between Chinese telecommunications giant HUAWEI and the United States will not prevent the two countries from moving forward together towards common ground.

Learn more (in French): 

Agence France-Presse (2019, 28 janvier).« Commerce :Donald Trump rencontrera le négociateur en chef de la Chine ».Sur le site

Agence France-Presse (2019, 28 janvier).« L’OMC enquête sur les taxes américaines visant les biens chinois ».Sur le site

Agence France-Presse (2018, 17 septembre).« La moitié des importations chinoises aux États-Unis bientôt surtaxées ».Sur le site

Desrosiers, Éric (2019, 8 janvier).« La paix commerciale entre Américains et Chinois pourrait se faire attendre longtemps ».Sur le site

Touitou, Delphine (2018, 23 septembre).« Washington et Pékin s’embourbent dans la guerre commerciale ».Sur le site

Please note that all information on this blog is subject to change. All blog articles are for information purposes only. We are always available to answer in detail any questions our clients may have regarding the information in this blog.

share this article

About the author
Dynamic and sociable, Marilyn is an excellent listener and always knows exactly what kind of workplace training and coaching our clients need. In addition to the training component, she acts as an HR leader by being the resource person for employees and managers. Marilyn ensures the best working conditions to allow the team to flourish.