CHINA-US TRADE WAR TIMELINE: A LONG-TERM WAR THAT IS GRADUALLY HEATING UP

The contest between China and the United States is not a contest of trading, but a fight between two social systems and ideologies. It is a fight between totalitarianism and democracy, dictatorship and freedom, closeness and openness, barbarism and civilization, deception and honesty. It is a battle between good and evil, right and wrong, life and death. If the United States fails, the beacon of freedom will go out, and darkness will fall upon humankind.

January 2018: “America First” Tariff

On January 22nd, the United States imposed global guarantee tariff on imported solar panels and washing machines.

March 2018: Unfair Intellectual Property

On March 22nd, Trump signed a memorandum to impose punitive tariffs up to US$60 billion dollars on China. The Chinese Ministry of Commerce subsequently countered to tax 128 US imports, including soybean, the largest exports from US to China.

April 2018: ZTE Being Punished

Company ZTE in the Shenzhen High-Tech Industrial Park

The US Department of Commerce prohibited US companies from selling equipment to Chinese telecom giant ZTE for seven years for alleged illegal export to Iran and North Korea.

On June 7th, China and the US reached an agreement allowing ZTE and US suppliers to resume business.

May 2018: Liu He’s Visit to the United States: a ‘Talk-past-each-other’ Trade Negotiations

On May 7, Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Trump talked over the phone.

On May 15, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He began his second US visit of the year.

From May 17 to 20, China and the United States agreed that the trade war should be put on hold.

June 2018: Summit of the US-DPRK: Kim Jong-un-en said: “Make history a thing of the past”

Kim and Trump shaking hands at the red carpet during the DPRK–USA Singapore Summit

From June 2nd to 3rd, US Department of Commerce secretary Wilbur Ross visited Beijing and met with Liu He, Vice Premier of the State Council.

On June 14, US Secretary of State Pompeo began his first official visit to China to discuss trade issues and the historical first US-DPRK summit.

June 2018: “The Biggest Trade War in History”

On June 15th, the United States continued to impose high tariffs on Chinese goods, effective on July 6th. China retaliated and declared they would impose a 25% tariff on 545 items of US products the same day.

July 2018: Beginning of the Tariff

On July 6, 2018, the Trump administration formally imposed a 25% tariff on the US$34 billion worth of Chinese exports to the US in the first batch of tax collections, marking the official implementation of Trump’s tariff policy on China (the remaining US$16 billion goods will be subject to a 25% tariff starting August 23rd.)

September 2018: Third Round of Tariff

On September 18, the two sides announced the third round of tariff on each other. China retaliated and announced US$60 billion tariff on US imports. Two hundred billion tariffs: the US-Sino trade war dragged on, who hurts more?

December 2018: Temporary Truce

Xi Jinping and Trump met during the G20 Summit in Argentina on December 1, during which China and the US reached a 90-day truce. No increase in tariff on Chinese goods on January 1, 2019.

March 1, 2019: Major Progress

After the deadline expired, the US announced significant progress and extended the suspension of new trade measures.

May 5, 2019: The CCP broke the agreement and the negotiation was back to square one

US President Donald Trump announced an additional 25% tariff on US$200 billion worth Chinese exports to the US. A total of US$250 billion worth Chinese exports to the US was on 25% tariff.

In retaliation, China’s State Council Tariff Commission announced that starting June 1st, some US$60 billion goods from US would be hit by tariff increase from 5% to 25%.

June 29, 2019: Re-Truce

Alan Santos/PR [CC BY]

The leaders of the two countries, Xi Jinping and Trump, held talks at the G20 Osaka Summit and agreed to restart economic and trade discussions. The US would no longer impose new tariffs on Chinese products.

August 1, 2019: Raise the Tariff

Trump’s administration was dissatisfied with the Chinese government’s progress in purchasing US agricultural produce, Trump announced on Twitter that US would impose a 10% tariff on all remaining US$300 billion worth Chinese exports to the US from September 1, 2019.

August 5, 2019: China is listed as a currency manipulator

The exchange rate of the RMB against the US dollar fell below the 7 mark. On the same day, the US Treasury announced that China would be listed as a currency manipulator.

August 24, 2019: Tariff Retaliation

China announced a 10% or 5% tariff on US$75 billion US goods, and imposed tariffs on US cars and automotive parts. On the next day, the US increased the tariff from 10% to 15% on planned US$300 billion Chinese goods and raised the tariff from 25% to 30% on the existing US$250 Chinese goods as a retaliation.

October 2019: China-US ‘Phase I’ agreement

Liu He, China’s vice-premier, and Donald Trump shake hands after announcing a ‘phase one’ agreement to ease the trade war © Bloomberg

In October 2019, the two sides verbally reached the so-called “relatively substantial phase I agreement”. The written agreement would still take several more weeks. China promised to buy US agricultural products worth US$40 to 50 billion dollars.

November, 2019: Has Xi-Trump Meeting changed?

The APEC summit in Chilean was cancelled, and the “Xi-Trump Meeting” was forced to find a new location. The “mini agreement” remained to be suspended……

December 2019: The first phase of the agreement is ready to be signed

December 13, 2019: President Trump tweeted that he had agreed to the Phase I agreement

The previous 25% of tariffs remain unchanged. The 115 billion tariffs that were levied in September were halved to 7.5%. The penalty originally scheduled for the 15th tariffs will not be levied.

However, the press conference from the Communist China differed from the US in terms of enforcement mechanisms, imported agricultural products, whether past tariffs will be rolled back, structural reforms, and signing time. Neither party has announced when the Phase I agreement will be signed.

January 15, 2020 : President Trump signs landmark phase 1 deal with China

Edit by 【Himalaya Hawk Squad】

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