The escalating trade war between the United States and China has the potential to soon start impacting many Americans jobs, including some in Alabama. The President Trump’s administration recently published a list of an $200 billion worth of Chinese products that will face additional tariffs, in addition to the $50 billion already announced. U.S. Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer, stated this plan is a response to China’s decision to impose additional tariffs on $50 billion worth of U.S. exports to China, which were response to increased American tariffs. Lighthizer released a list of 600 products that the government is proposing to tax and has said that the public will be able comment on the Chinese exports until the end of August.
This proposed plan could cause ripples across the American economy, hitting American workers whose jobs involve companies involved in international trade. American farmers in particular may feel the impact as products such as soybeans and corn are now more expensive to import into China.
Autoworkers in Alabama are vulnerable to the effects of the burgeoning trade war as the state exports more than $7.75 billion worth of cars and trucks around the world. China, the top destination of Alabama-made automobiles, has already added an additional 25% tariffs on automobiles imported from the United States.
That’s not the only auto-related trade news. President Trump has also suggested adding a 25% tariff on cars imported to the United States, a suggestion that caused an uproar in Europe, the home of Volkswagen and Mercedes Benz. General Motors has spoken out against this idea, as it might lead to a number of American jobs being lost.
The impacts of tariffs and other trade moves are still being determined and it may take a while to feel the full impact. One lasting impact may be that foreign buyers simply start relying on other countries to supply their products, instead of trading with American companies and their workers.