UCF Global Perspectives


U.S.-China Trade: Tariff and Non-Tariff Barriers

Michelle Murillo, Lawrence J. Chastang Global Fellow

February 27, 2019

United States President Donald Trump stated his aim to sign a deal soon with Chinese President Xi Jinping to end the trade war (Reuters 1). With the impending deadline Trump announced previously, the president expressed he will delay the planned 25 percent tariffs increase on Chinese imports (Reuters 1). However, a recent hearing on U.S.-China issues hosted U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, who testified that the U.S. must maintain the threat of imposing tariffs for years in order to achieve structural change by China (Reuters 2). Lighthizer urged Trump to not be assuaged by China’s promise to make one-time substantial purchases of U.S. products, instead the president should focus on the unfair trade practices (Reuters 2).

The trade war resulted in an increase of China’s trade surplus to 323.32 billion USD last year at a time where China is trying to support its cooling economy (Reuters 1). The Trump administration also objects to industrial subsidies, business licensing procedures and product standards reviews, namely non-tariff barriers to trade (Reuters 1). Reports expect officials to sign memorandums of understanding detailing actions China must take on issues from structural reforms to trade and economic policies.


1 https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trade-china-graphic/u-s-china-trade-tariff-and-non-tariff-barriers-idUSKCN1QG0CF

2 https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trade-china-house/us-china-trade-talks-still-need-heavy-work-to-reach-deal-lighthizer-idUSKCN1QG250


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