Donald Trump is claiming that the Phase One of the trade deal he recently signed with China will greatly improve the U.S. economy. Economic experts though, doubt that the deal can bring significant changes from where the country was, before the 18-month trade conflict with China started.
The U.S.-China Trade Deficit Still Remains as an Economic Trade Issue
Although China has agreed to increase its purchases of U.S goods to as much as $200 billion in the next two years, the increase has little impact in putting to rest the the trade imbalance issue between China and the U.S.
Much of the trade deficit still exist, since the total U.S. products that will be sold to China stands to increase by only $15 billion (coming from $185 billion reported in 2017.) Whereas China still remains as the biggest supplier of retail goods, raw materials and other products to the U.S. that totaled to as much as $539.5 billion in 2018.
This means that despite the signing of the Phase One Deal, the main bone of contention in the U.S-China Trade disagreement still largely exists by over $300 billion in trade deficit. Simply stated, since the U.S. buys more from China than the latter does from the U.S., China still stands to gain more income in overall US-China trade deals.
On top of that, China has agreed to exclude certain U.S. goods impacted by the first-set of counter tariffs imposed on American goods imported by Chinese businessmen. Although the exclusions will encourage further importation of goods coming from the U.S., the tariff exclusion will be reduce costs on the part of Chinese businessmen and subsequently on Chinese consumers.
Trump Still Unclear on How Tariffs Work
However, Trump still thinks that the tariffs imposed on China are costs still being shouldered by Chinese businessmen, since he only reduced U.S. tariffs on about $120 billion worth of Chinese goods by half; from the original 15% down to 7.5%. This denotes that the 25% tariff imposed on the $250 billion worth of Chinese products imported by U.S. businesses is still very much a cost to contend with by American importers. .
Apparently, Trump still does not understand how tariffs work, as he still asserts that the burden to pay such tariffs still rests on Chinese businessmen.
He still cannot get the point that the additional cost of duty taxes that U.S. importers pay in purchasing Chinese products are paid before they can bring take the goods out of U.S. Customs. The duties paid will be factored in as part of the cost of goods, which in turn, partly determines the retail price paid by consumers.