Follow Us:

‘US tariff hikes hit low-income citizens’, says Democratic presidential candidate

The tariffs “have driven up the price of imported intermediate parts, made the dollar less competitive, and caused other countries to retaliate against us with their own tariffs”, he said.

SNS | New Delhi |

US Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke said on Thursday that the US tariff hikes on massive Chinese imports were tax increases for American consumers and businesses, which hit low-income Americans and exporters.

Adding extra tariffs on roughly $550 billion worth of Chinese goods is “hitting low-income Americans especially hard” and “an attack on US exporters”, O’Rourke wrote in an article published on Medium.com, a blog host website.

The tariffs “have driven up the price of imported intermediate parts, made the dollar less competitive, and caused other countries to retaliate against us with their own tariffs”, he said.

US goods deficit with China stood at an annually adjusted $30.2 billion in June, widening from $30.1 billion in the previous month, according to the Commerce Department’s latest report, Xinhua news agency reported.

O’Rourke said, “(President Donald) Trump started his trade war with China to reduce the US trade deficit, but the deficit is rising, not shrinking”.

O’Rourke in his article also highlighted the tariffs’ harm to the US agriculture sector.

He said the tariffs have been a disaster for American farmers and ranchers, destroying their long-standing relationships with customers abroad and forcing many family farms into bankruptcy”.

Earlier on Wednesday, the US Trade Representative’s office reaffirmed Trump’s plans to impose an additional 5 per cent tariff on a US$300 billion list of Chinese imports starting on Sept 1 and Dec 15.

Last Friday, Trump took to Twitter and announced the tariff increase, in response to Chinese retaliatory tariffs on US$75 billion worth of US goods, including crude oil.

“China’s most recent response of announcing a new tariff increase on US goods has shown that the current action being taken is no longer appropriate,” USTR said in the notice.

The Trump administration had previously planned to impose a 10 per cent tariff on these imports.

The dispute between the world’s two biggest economies in July 2018 boiled over into tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of each other’s goods and threatens to engulf all trade between the countries, putting global growth at risk.

USTR accuses China of “unfair acts, policies and practices,” including its retaliatory tariffs and “concrete steps to devalue its currency,” allegations denied by Beijing.