Following the recent announcement of additional tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, President Trump is now taking additional steps that could ignite a full-blown trade war with China by pushing for a hefty $50 billion in tariffs on imported Chinese goods. Trump’s concerns about the U.S.’s $375 billion trade deficit with China is fueling this move and could have dire consequences for both China and the U.S. (to say nothing of the global economy).

President Trump has announced that the proposed tariffs stem from intellectual-property violations, and his plan would target more than 1,300 types of Chinese goods. Large retailers such as Amazon have warned that the proposed sanctions against China could cause harsh ramifications, with many fearing increased pricing on goods for U.S. consumers and thus, a severe hit to the U.S. stock market.  A proposed list of products to be hit with tariff increases will be released within 15 days. After a 30 to 60 day comment period, the final list will be made public. U.S. Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer, has been investigating China’s unfair intellectual-property practices under section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974. The law allows Lighthizer, guided by the President, to take steps, including the imposition of tariffs, to rectify any harm against U.S. businesses.

China has announced that preparations are being made to strike back at Trump’s planned tariff increases with duties aimed at industries which tend to employ his voter base. Many fear that this tit-for-tat mentality will lead to a trade war which would potentially hurt all parties involved.

Shapiro will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as they become available.