WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said he would shake up American trade policy. That he did. From Beijing to Brussels to Mexico City, he waged war with trading partners on multiple fronts. Here’s a look at four tumultuous years of Trump trade policy:
TRADE WAR WITH CHINA
To rebalance America’s lopsided trade gap with China, Trump’s trade representative, Robert Lighthizer, targeted what critics called Beijing’s drive for technological supremacy by hacking trade secrets, forcing foreign companies to hand over technology and unfairly subsidizing Chinese companies. Once negotiations fizzled, the administration imposed tariffs on about $360 billion in Chinese imports in the biggest trade conflict since the 1930s.
Before Trump started his trade war, the average tariff on Chinese imports was 3.1%; now, it’s 19.3%. Beijing retaliated by jacking up taxes on U.S. products — from an average 8% to 20.3%, according to calculations by Chad Bown of the Peterson Institute for International Economics.