The month of July marked one-year anniversary of Sino-US trade war. Multiple events led to mounting tensions between the two states, however, on July 6, 2018 US implementation of first China-specific tariffs served as a final nail in the coffin. US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) imposed a 25% tariff (previously 10%) on 818 imported Chinese products worth US$34 billion. China reciprocated by imposing tariffs on US$110 billion of US products (ranging between 5% to 25%) including tariffs on chemicals, coal and medical equipment.
Protectionism is considered to be a key tool in President Donald Trump’s “America First” policy. President Trump ran his presidential campaign on the promise of tearing up or renegotiating any trade agreements that disadvantaged American working class. President Trump’s withdrawal from Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and rectification of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)/US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) are its direct manifestations. The trade politics with China is also an offshoot of the same policy.