“President Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs that sent financial markets into a tizzy last month amounted to $9 billion a year — even before he started handing out exemptions to Mexico, Canada and potentially other trading partners,” Jed Graham reports for Investor’s Business Daily. “That was pretty small potatoes compared with the broadside he is reportedly getting set to unleash on China as soon as Friday.”

“Trump is preparing to slap $60 billion worth of tariffs on imports from China — twice as much as his advisors proposed and nearly seven times as much as the steel and aluminum tariffs,” Graham reports. “As Trump prepares to direct relatively heavy economic fire toward China, trade groups representing Walmart, Apple, Best Buy and other retailers warned that tariffs would raise prices for American consumers, whether or not tariffs prove effective in shrinking the trade deficit. Under Armour, Nike and other shoe companies echoed similar concerns.”

“In some respects, taking on China in this way makes more sense than via steel and aluminum tariffs. While China is the biggest source of global steel overcapacity, it represents only about 2% of U.S. steel imports,” Graham reports. “It’s looking likely that Trump will be engaging in trade-related skirmishes — and U.S. companies will be at risk of collateral damage — on multiple fronts.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: In the fifth edition its “Worst Innovation Mercantilists” report, ITIF documents the world’s most egregious examples of innovation mercantilist policies that were proposed, drafted, or implemented in 2017. The report finds China among the year’s worst offenders. This is the fifth consecutive year China has earned a place on the list, a dubious distinction that it alone has achieved.

When countries impose protectionist policies in high-value, high-tech sectors, they damage the entire global innovation system. The United States must lead by taking action against them. The Trump administration has taken steps in the right direction by increasing pressure against China. But in the absence of a concerted effort by an international coalition, innovation mercantilism will put the broader global trading system at systemic risk. — ITIF Trade Policy Analyst Nigel Cory

Read ITIF’s “The Worst Innovation Mercantilist Policies of 2017” report in full here.

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