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A Trade War Primer: The Tariffs Imposed, Threatened, And Expected By The US, Canada, Mexico, China And The EU

July 4, 2018 9:26 am
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The S&P 500 is down 0.8 percent in the past month amid a stream of negative international trade headlines. It seems there’s a new tariff being threatened or applied on a weekly basis. For investors who need a recap of the trade turmoil, here’s a 2018 tariff timeline:

  • Jan 22: President Donald Trump places “safeguard” tariffs on imported solar panels and washing machines.
  • February 27: Following a ruling by the World Trade Organization, China removes anti-subsidy duties on U.S. white-feather broiler chickens.
  • March 23: Trump enacts a 25-percent tariff on imported steel and a 10-percent tariff on imported aluminum, but exempts Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and the European Union.
  • April 2: China increases tariffs on 128 U.S. products, including pork, wine and fruit, by up to 25 percent.
  • April 3: Trump threatens to slap 25-percent tariffs on $50 billion in additional Chinese technology goods in protest of China’s intellectual property abuses.
  • April 4: China retaliates by threatening its own set of additional 25-percent tariffs on $50 billion in U.S. goods, including automobiles, planes and soy.
  • April 30: Trump extends the steel and aluminum tariff exemptions for Europe, Canada and Mexico until June 1.
  • May 31: Canada said it would impose retaliatory tariffs on $12.6 billion of U.S. goods, including ketchup, lawn mowers, motor boats, yogurt and whiskey.
  • June 1: Trump permanently exempts Australian from the steel and aluminum tariffs and replaces tariffs with import quotas for Argentina, Brazil and South Korea.
  • June 5: Mexico imposes 20-percent tariffs on $3 billion in American goods, including steel, pork and bourbon.
  • June 15: The U.S. cuts flat panel TVs, air conditioning parts and certain aluminum alloys from the goods included in its latest Chinese tariffs, reducing the total value of the included goods to $34 billion.
  • June 18: Trump threatens to impose 10-percent tariffs on an additional $200 billion in Chinese goods.
  • June 21: India raises import duties on U.S. nuts and other items.
  • June 20: The European Commision says it will place tariffs on $3.2 billion in U.S. goods, including agricultural products.
  • June 22: Trump threatens to impose a 20-percent tariff on European automobiles.
  • June 26: China lowers tariffs on animal feed ingredients imported from other Asian countries.
  • June 29: The European Commission threatens to impose tariffs on $294 billion in U.S. goods. 
  • July 5: The EU reportedly considers cutting tariffs on automobiles to avoid a direct trade war with the U.S.
  • July 6: China and the U.S. implement offsetting tariffs on $34 billion of each other's products. Russia says it is implementing a new set of tariffs on imported U.S. goods. The EU says it is putting together a new set of tariffs on U.S. goods worth $21 billion in case Trump moves forward with his EU atuo tariffs. Trump treatens to impose tariffs of up to $500 billion of Chinese goods, the entire value of China's imports in 2017.

Global Impact

  • For investors, here’s a look at how the trade war has impacted financial markets year-to-date:
  • The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE:SPY) is up 1.5 percent.
  • The iShares MSCI Mexico Inv. Mt. Idx. (ETF) (NYSE:EWW) is down 6.9 percent.
  • The iShares MSCI Canada Index (ETF) (NYSE:EWC) is down 4.5 percent.
  • The iShares FTSE Xinhua China 25 Index (ETF) (NYSE:FXI) is down 9.1 percent.
  • The iShares MSCI EMU Index (NYSE:EZU) is down 6.2 percent.

Related Links:

Trump's Trade Strategy: Pros And Cons

What Is A Tariff And What Does It Do?

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