Tariffs Aren’t the Solution Against China

Wendy Cutler on Business Class Podcast

Donald J. Trump signs the Section 232 Proclamations on Steel and Aluminum Imports

President Donald J. Trump signs the Section 232 Proclamations on Steel and Aluminum Imports. (Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian)

ASPI Vice President, Wendy Cutler spoke with Richard Drobnick on USC Marshall School's "Business Class" podcast about issues of trade and tariffs between the United States and China. U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration is very concerned about China’s plans to develop advanced technologies under the “Made in China 2025” plan. However, Cutler states that imposing tariffs on China is causing U.S. trading partners to worry, because “raising tariffs violates [the United States’] WTO obligations.”

Cutler says that “if the U.S. goes ahead and imposes tariffs, none of us should be surprised that China will quickly put the tariff increases that they’ve announced into effect.” These actions will indeed incite a tariff war where “neither side will win.” Cutler states if this happens there is a period of time before tariffs would be put into place, and she hopes “that window [of time] is used by both sides to get to the negotiating table and to try and reach an accommodation.”

According to Cutler, if the goal of the Trump administration is to slow down China 2025 activities, then the solution to the problem is “not just what we do with China on trade, but it’s building up our R&D capabilities, so we remain competitive, and we remain on the forefront of these advanced technologies.” (16 min., 49 sec.)

Listen to the podcast. 

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