By Justin Robertson
The United States could be in a war with China soon, but not the kind of war that some would suspect. American citizens are likely to see a price increase on Chinese imports, possibly worsening the economy. On Thursday, March 22, President Donald Trump imposed a tariff
worth $60 billion on Chinese steel, aluminum, and other various other products. For years, China has stolen ideas and inventions created by U.S. companies and used them for themselves. This is called intellectual property theft, something that has cost the U.S. billions of dollars. President Trump said, “Rather than remedy its misconduct, China has chosen to harm our farmers and manufacturers.” In retaliation of China doing this, Trump signed the tariff in an attempt to send a message to China; no more intellectual property theft. However, the message was not perceived well.
China then said on Friday, March 23, that they would impose a $3 billion tariff on U.S. imports, including fruit, pork, and steel pipes. This sounds like the beginning of a trade war, in which China and the U.S. will continue to tax each other’s imports to worsen each other’s trade. These trade wars have a history of being detrimental to both sides. The most notable trade war being in 1930, when the Smoot–Hawley Tariff was signed into law by Congress. The tariff was implemented during the great depression, and put a tax on over 20,000 imported goods in an attempt to strengthen the economy. Despite the attempt, it did the exact opposite and sunk the U.S. deeper into the depression. President George W. Bush also attempted to use tariffs in 2002 to better the economy, but these also failed.
If the trade war goes into full effect, the Howard County community, as well as the rest of the country, would feel it’s impact. Glenelg Sophomore Callie Anderson said, “I think it’s an unwise decision and will cause future conflicts between the United States and China. [It will] negatively impact individuals by increasing the prices of most goods purchased, as most products in U.S. stores are from China.” Soon, Glenelg students may see a rise in prices of products at the local Royal Farms, or CVS. If the trade war continues to develop, consumers will be impacted significantly, for many everyday products that Americans use, such as cars and food, will skyrocket in price.
However, some positives for the U.S. economy could come out of this trade war. Once the tariff on Chinese steel imports is in effect, the prices of steel products may be too high for average consumers to afford. This would force consumers to buy domestic products, thus creating more jobs for Americans.
Regardless of the positives that could come out of the trade war, based off of previous attempts, the likely negatives would be extremely detrimental to the economy. To prevent a dramatic shift in the economy for the worse, discussions between the U.S. and China need to take place.