Trump Targets Chinese Appliances and Electronics for New Tariffs

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WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump released a new list of 1,300 Chinese exports targeted for tariffs, triggering fears of a trade war that could increase consumer prices and hurt American exports.

The $50 billion list of Chinese exports includes flat-screen TVs, appliances and other every-day consumer electronics, it is the latest round of trade barriers planned by the administration. China immediately retaliated with an announcement to tax $50 billion in American exports, including soybeans and aerospace parts, among others. The escalation follows Trump-imposed tariffs on steel, aluminum, solar panels and washing machines from China and several other countries.

"We are not in a trade war with China, that war was lost many years ago by the foolish, or incompetent, people who represented the U.S.," Trump tweeted. "Now we have a Trade Deficit of $500 Billion a year, with Intellectual Property Theft of another $300 Billion. We cannot let this continue!"

Trump’s deficit figure of $506 billion is closer to $337 billion when including goods and services, according to numbers from the US Bureau of Economic Analysis reported by CNN.

The new tariffs would take effect in May following a public comment period.

$50 billion in consumer goods is small in comparison to the larger trade picture, but experts fear further tit-for-tat escalation could result in more severely damaging economic outcomes.

“As we've said all along, tariffs are taxes on consumers and a drag on the nation's economy," Matthew Shay, president and CEO of the National Retail Federation, told NBC. "This entire process creates uncertainty and makes it difficult for retail companies that must rely on complicated global supply chains."