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China

A group of more than 600 companies and trade associations have signed a letter to the president asking him to end the trade war with China and to drop tariffs.

Retail giants like Walmart, Target, Macy's and Gap wrote that they are worried tariffs will lead to job loss and will harm consumers and the U.S. economy.

Updated at 6:15 p.m. ET

The Trump administration will provide $16 billion in aid to help keep farmers afloat as they reel from the yearlong trade war between the U.S. and China, the latest sign that the world's two largest economies are still far from striking a long-term trade agreement.

The bulk of the support, or about $14.5 billion, is direct aid to farmers, which producers will start to see some time this summer, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told reporters in a briefing on Thursday.

Updated at 4:19 p.m. ET

China is imposing new retaliatory tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. goods, days after the Trump administration said it would impose higher tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods. The latest tit-for-tat exchange comes as trade talks have failed to yield a deal.

U.S. stock prices plunged on the news. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 617 points Monday, or 2.4%, and the Nasdaq composite fell 3.4%.

The prices of the things we buy, from floor lamps to canoes and bicycles, are slated to go up, literally overnight, as the Trump administration makes good on a promise to raise tariffs on $200 billion worth of imported Chinese products.

Bret Davis looking out on his fields during a rain storm.
Nick Evans / WOSU

Bret Davis leans against a work bench at a farm north of Delaware. He and his partners are casting about, trying to stay busy while the rain keeps them from planting.

J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and a bipartisan group of Senators want sanctions on the table to ensure the China adequately regulates fentanyl. The Chinese government agreed earlier this week to classify fentanyl and its variants as controlled substances.

China has announced that all variants of fentanyl will be treated as controlled substances, after Washington urged Beijing to stop fueling the opioid epidemic in the United States.

Authorities in China already regulate 25 variants of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid linked to thousands of drug overdose deaths in the U.S. But some manufacturers in China, seeking to evade controls, have introduced slight changes to the molecular structure of their drugs, giving them the legal loophole to manufacture and export before the government can assess the products for safety and medical use.

Last week U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer launched what Politico called a charm offensive on Capitol Hill amid high-profile trade deals being sought with China, and Canada and Mexico, among others. Some Democrats in the House majority have voiced concerns over the deal to replace NAFTA, especially over labor and environmental regulations.  

Plastic garbage from Trader Joe's and an AARP card are peeking out of hillocks of plastic trash piling up in Indonesia.

It's a sign of a new global quandary: What should wealthy countries do with their plastic waste now that China no longer is buying it?

For years, America sold millions of tons of used yogurt cups, juice containers, shampoo bottles and other kinds of plastic trash to China to be recycled into new products.

And it wasn't just the U.S. Some 70 percent of the world's plastic waste went to China – about 7 million tons a year.

The U.S. trade deficit soared to a 10-year high in 2018 on the heels of a strong economy, despite President Trump's ongoing efforts to bring it down through tariffs on imported goods.

For 2018 as a whole, the deficit grew to $621 billion — the highest since 2008, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. When the service sector is excluded, the gap was even greater, rising to a record $891.3 billion.

President Trump will hold off raising tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars in Chinese imports, after what he called "very productive" trade talks in Washington this weekend.

Tariffs had been scheduled to jump from 10 to 25 percent next Saturday. But Trump agreed to postpone that increase in hopes of negotiating a more comprehensive trade agreement.

When U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer was growing up in Ashtabula, Ohio, in the 1950s, it was a thriving port town on Lake Erie where everyone who wanted one found a job. Ships brought in iron ore destined for the steel mills of Pennsylvania, and left with coal from the mines of Appalachia.

But as steel and coal have declined, the Ashtabula of Lighthizer's childhood has disappeared, taking a lot of jobs with it.

The Trump administration opened high-stakes trade talks with China on Wednesday. The two sides have just over a month to reach an agreement, or risk an escalation in their costly trade battle.

The administration has already imposed tariffs on some $250 billion in Chinese imports. President Trump has threatened to increase and expand those tariffs, but he agreed to hold off until early March, while negotiators try to hammer out a deal.

After extending to an unexpected third day, trade talks between U.S. and Chinese officials have concluded, a spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry announced Wednesday morning. Delegates to the talks have not yet revealed what specifically was discussed, or if anything was agreed to. In a Tweet Tuesday morning, President Trump said the talks were "going very well!"

U.S. and Chinese officials have begun talks aimed at ending the trade war that has imposed hundreds of billions of dollars in tariffs over the past year. The U.S. is seeking concessions in Chinese business practices; in exchange it will eliminate tariffs recently imposed on Chinese goods.

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