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MEMA, Dow, others dismayed by Trump's new China tariffs

U.S. financial and industrial sources reacted with dismay to President Trump's announcement that he would levy 10% tariffs on $300 billion worth of goods exported to the U.S. from China, effective Sept. 1.

The new tariffs, which President Trump announced on Twitter the afternoon of Aug. 1, are on top of the 25% tariffs that already exist on another $250 billion of Chinese goods.

"We thought we had a (trade) deal with China three months ago, but sadly, China decided to renegotiate the deal before signing," the president said in explaining his decision. "More recently, China agreed to buy agricultural product from the U.S. in large quantities, but did not do so."After the announcement, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell sharply, losing 280.85 points to close Aug. 1 at 26,583.42.Associations representing business interests were quick to react to the news.

"It was our hope that ongoing talks would lead to an agreement and allow the Trump administration to lift existing tariffs," the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association said. "Today's announcement … dashes that hope."

Myron Brilliant, executive vice president and head of international affairs for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said the new tariffs "will only inflict greater pain on American businesses, farmers, workers and consumers, and undermine an otherwise strong U.S. economy."

David French, senior vice president for government relations at the National Retail Federation, agreed with MEMA and the Chamber.

"As we've said repeatedly, we support the administration's goal of restructuring the U.S.-China trade relationship," Mr. French said. "But we are disappointed the administration is doubling down on a flawed tariff strategy that is already slowing U.S. economic growth, creating uncertainty and discouraging investment."

A complete list of goods covered under the new tariffs was not available from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative as of the late afternoon of Aug. 1.

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