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Author Topic: U.S. Senate quietly votes to cut tariffs on hundreds of Chinese goods  (Read 37 times)
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July 27, 2018, 01:03:45 PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - As trade tensions escalate between Washington and Beijing, the U.S. Senate quietly passed legislation on Thursday that would lower trade barriers on hundreds of items made in China.

With no debate, the Senate unanimously passed a bill that would cut or eliminate tariffs on toasters, chemicals and roughly 1,660 other items made outside the United States.

Nearly half of those items are produced in China, according to a Reuters analysis of government records.

The United States and China, the world’s two largest economies, are increasingly at loggerheads over trade.

U.S. President Donald Trump has announced a series of punitive tariffs on Chinese imports in a bid to halt a Chinese surge in high-technology industries that threatens to displace U.S. dominance. China has retaliated with its own duties on imports from the United States.

The White House has not publicly taken a position on the so-called miscellaneous tariff bill, which has now passed both the Senate and the House of Representatives unanimously. The two chambers need to resolve minor differences before they can send the legislation to Trump to sign into law.

Supporters of the bill have said it would boost the economy by getting rid of tariffs set up to protect industries that no longer exist in the United States. The National Association of Manufacturers has said U.S. businesses pay $1 million a day on such import duties.

“It makes no sense because it is a direct and punishing tax on making things in America and for creating jobs in America,” the trade group’s president, Jay Timmons, said in a prepared statement celebrating the bill’s passage.

Among the beneficiaries are companies that have moved production offshore.

Hamilton Beach Brands Holding Co (HBB.N), for example, would pay reduced tariffs on Chinese-made toaster ovens, steam irons and other household appliances it used to make domestically.

Some domestic manufacturers have complained the bill would undercut their business by making it easier for rivals to bring in cheap foreign goods. They said the bill punished smaller firms that lack the ability to defend their interests in Washington.

The version of the bill that passed the House in January included 145 items that are made domestically, according to a Reuters analysis.

“There’s no reason to block opportunity U.S. manufacturers might have for rebuilding our manufacturing base,” Michael Korchmar, the head of a family-owned travel goods company in Florida, said in a phone interview earlier this month.

Korchmar earlier this year planned to hire up to 30 workers in his Naples, Florida, factory, but he put those plans on hold after being told by Reuters that the bill would lower tariffs on an insulated food bag that he planned to produce.

Korchmar said he may yet decide to expand production, because Democratic Senator Bill Nelson removed that item from the bill after Reuters wrote about it in March.

“We’ve got a good shot - we’ve lost a good bit of time and we have to re-evaluate the market,” Korchmar said.


Politicians around the world have an extremely bad habit of doing the opposite of everything they say they'll do. This post could serve as a prime example. Near the beginning of this article it is said tariffs on imports into the USA are being cut. Later we see an attempt to distort the issue with false marketing. To fool the public into believing tariff cuts on imports, which benefit foreign business will benefit domestic business, instead.

Anyways everyone who opposed Trump raising tariffs on china can be thrilled that other US politicians in office are working to undermine Trump's efforts. This story probably won't be publicized much if at all. I hope people remember this if someday they decide they dislike the outcome of these policies.

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July 27, 2018, 02:29:47 PM

Well it looks like it's mostly good? I mean, there are apparently 1660 items on the list, and only 145 of those are actually being made in the US. We can't just say those 145 items should just be removed either, because we don't know how much of them are actually being made domestically vs. how much is being imported.

Either way, it seems like a net positive for consumers (and maybe businesses which could resale cheaper?) which may explain the unanimous votes, but I guess we won't really know until we see actual figures.

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July 27, 2018, 03:40:26 PM

The whole US government right now is a shit show, with Trump spearheading the nonsense with his lousy acts of manliness against China. His administration is somewhat realizing that the man sitting on the president's seat is nothing but a joke. I'm not even surprised that the Senate and the House of Representatives came up with a bill that negates the trade tariff on several items. They may be protecting their best interests at heart, knowing that the president is already doing it and their just saving themselves from an utter destruction. China can go along and receive this tariffs and just target their exports elsewhere other than the US. But let's face it, the US needs China more than  China needs the US (consumer electronics and labor, lol) so if Trump will still be stiff regarding his stance on this matter, idk what will happen to America if the Chinese did the same thing.

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July 27, 2018, 03:52:13 PM

Perhaps the American Government tries to become friends again with the China's Goverment considering the fact that somehow they need the chinees money.

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July 27, 2018, 05:20:07 PM

What can you expect? Average salary for american workforce is $8/hr, while that same rate is already 1 full day work in china to produce same item.

It can't bring back jobs back to america, as americans don't want such work like chinese do.
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