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Trade Wars – China Places Tariffs On U.S. Dairy Products

China responded to the $34 billion tariffs President Trump placed on Chinese goods on Friday, with a promise to impose reciprocal levies on a range of American products, including agricultural products, cars and seafood. Among products listed are whole milk powder and skimmed milk powder, two products the U.S. has traditionally sent in large quantities to China. Lactose, infant formula, casein and caseinates are the only powder products not included on the list. Tariffs on $34 billion of goods will take effect from July 6, according to Reuters. Other tariffs will be announced at a later date. 

“China and the U.S. have conducted several rounds of negotiations in an attempt to resolve our differences and achieve win-win results,” a spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry said on Friday. “We deeply regret that the United States has disregarded the consensus it has formed and flip-flopped, provoking a trade war.”

“We will immediately introduce taxation measures of the same scale and with the same intensity,” the country’s commerce ministry said. All the economic and trade achievements previously negotiated by the two parties will become invalid.”

The United States Trade Representative on Friday released a list of $50 billion in Chinese imports that would face tariffs. Levies are scheduled to take effect for roughly 800 of those products on July 6, while the remainder could face tariffs pending a final decision by the trade office.

The tit-for-tat trade measures amount to a sharp escalation of conflict between the U.S. and China. In May, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said a trade war with the world’s second-largest economy was “on hold.”

According to data from the U.S. dairy export council, U.S. exports to China, who was our fourth largest export customer in 2017, have been up in 2018 compared to the previous year. In 2017 total value of dairy exports shipped to China January – April was $179 million. The same time frame in 2018 totalled $203 million.

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