WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Over the weekend, President Donald Trump cleared the deck to focus on China.
He removed tariffs on Mexican and Canadian steel and aluminum, which should ease some pressure on the president from American manufacturers and the lawmakers who represent them.
Analysts say Trump will now zero in on the trade war with China in hopes of finding a resolution that would protect U.S. inventions and patents and once again open up Chinese markets to American farmers.
The escalating trade war with China is hitting American consumers right in the wallet.
“There have been some estimates that have said that the typical American family’s prices have risen by $500 per family,” Joann Weiner of George Washington University said.
Even Walmart and other retailers have said they will soon be forced to raise their prices, according to Weiner.
“If you’re going to have tariffs on everything that is imported from China, you’re going to see a big hit at the consumer level,” she added.
From clothing to furniture to electronics and kitchen appliances, consumers can expect higher prices on Chinese-made goods.
“Personally, I think that trade and tariff wars are not good policies,” said Congressman John Joyce, R-Pennsylvania.
But Joyce and some of his fellow lawmakers on both sides of the aisle say the short-term pain is worth it for the long-term gain, and now is as good a time as any to hold China accountable.
“GDP is at record highs, unemployment is at 50-year lows,” Joyce said, adding that he trusts the president’s strategy.
“When you’re at the top of your game and you want to negotiate specifically with China, you bring out tools like tariffs,” he said.
Trump has done just that. After trade talks with China stalled earlier this month, the president raised tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese products.
According to Joyce, China has been stealing American inventions and violating American patents for years.
“What he’s forcing China to do is to sit down and negotiate,” Joyce said of Trump. “We need to level the playing field.”
Trump said he’s hopeful he can come to terms with Chinese President Xi when the two meet at next month’s G20 summit.