Timeline: Key dates in the U.S.-China trade war

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Timeline: Key dates in the U.S.-China trade war


(Reuters) – The U.S.-China trade war intensified on Aug. 1 with U.S. President Donald Trump vowing to levy 10% tariffs on a remaining $300 billion (£247 billion) list of consumer goods imports from China starting on Sept. 1.

FILE PHOTO: Chinese and U.S. flags flutter near The Bund, before U.S. trade delegation meet their Chinese counterparts for talks in Shanghai, China July 30, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song

Over the past year, Washington has imposed 25% tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese products, meaning that virtually every Chinese import would have a tariff levied on it come Sept. 1.

The following timeline details key moments in the souring trade relationship between the world’s two largest economies.

June 28, 2016

S&P 500: +1.78%

While campaigning for the White House, Donald Trump lays out plans to counter unfair trade practices from China at a rally in Pennsylvania. He also threatened to apply tariffs under sections 201 and 301 of U.S. trade legislation, which he subsequently did. He said China’s entrance into the World Trade Organization enabled the “greatest jobs theft in history.”

March 31, 2017

S&P 500: -0.23%

Trump, now president, signs two executive orders. One calls for tighter tariff enforcement in anti-subsidy and anti-dumping trade cases. The other orders a review of U.S. trade deficits and their causes.

April 7, 2017

S&P 500: -0.08%

At their first meeting at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agree to a 100-day plan for trade talks.

July 19, 2017

S&P 500: +0.54%

The two sides fail to agree on new steps to reduce the U.S. deficit with China after the 100 days of talks.

Aug. 14, 2017

S&P 500: +1.00%

Trump orders “Section 301” probe into alleged Chinese intellectual property theft, described as his first direct trade measure against Beijing. Section 301 refers to the part of a 1974 trade law that lays out how the United States should enforce its rights under trade agreements.

Jan. 17, 2018

S&P 500: +0.94%

Trump, in a Reuters interview, threatens a big “fine” on China over alleged IP theft, without providing details.

Jan. 22, 2018

S&P 500: +0.81%

Trump imposes tariffs on all imported washing machines and solar panels – not just those from China.

March 8, 2018

S&P 500: +0.45%

Trump orders 25% tariffs on steel imports and 10% on aluminum from all suppliers – not just China.

April 2, 2018

S&P 500: -2.23%

China imposes tariffs of up to 25% on 128 U.S. products.

April 3, 2018

S&P 500: +1.26%

Trump unveils plans for 25% tariffs on about $50 billion of Chinese imports.

April 4, 2018

S&P 500: +1.16%

China responds with plans for retaliatory tariffs on about $50 billion of U.S. imports.

June 15, 2018

S&P 500: -0.10%

The United States sets effective date of July 6 for 25% levies on $34 billion of Chinese imports. It says 25% tariffs will also kick in on an additional $16 billion of goods after a public comment period. China responds in kind with tariffs on $34 billion of U.S. goods.

July 10, 2018

S&P 500: +0.35%

The United States unveils plans for 10% tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports.

Aug. 1, 2018

S&P 500: -0.10%

Trump orders USTR to increase the tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports to 25% from the originally proposed 10%.

Aug. 7, 2018

S&P 500: +0.28%

The United States releases the list of $16 billion of Chinese goods to be subject to 25% tariffs. China retaliates with 25% duties on $16 billion of U.S. goods.

Aug. 23, 2018

S&P 500: -0.17%

Tariffs on goods appearing on the Aug. 7 lists from both the United States and China take effect.

Sept. 7, 2018

S&P 500: -0.22%

Trump threatens tariffs on $267 billion more of Chinese imports.

Sept. 24, 2018

S&P 500: -0.35%

The United States implements 10% tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports. The administration says the rate will increase to 25% on Jan. 1, 2019. China answers with duties of its own on $60 billion of U.S. goods.

Dec. 1, 2018

S&P 500: +1.09% (Monday, Dec. 3)

The United States and China agree on a 90-day halt to new tariffs. Trump agrees to put off the Jan. 1 scheduled increase on tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods until early March while talks between the two countries take place. China agrees to buy a “very substantial” amount of U.S. products.

Feb. 24, 2019

S&P 500: +0.12% (Monday, Feb 25)

Trump extends the March 1 deadline, leaving the tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods at 10% on an open-ended basis.

May 5, 2019

S&P 500: -0.45% (Monday, May 6)

Trump tweets that he intends to raise the tariffs rate on $200 billion of Chinese goods to 25% on May 10.

May 8, 2019

S&P 500: -0.16%

The Trump administration gives formal notice of its intent to raise tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports to 25% from 10%, effective May 10. Earlier, Reuters reported that China had backtracked on almost all aspects of a draft U.S.-China trade pact.

June 18, 2019

S&P 500: +0.97%

Trump and Xi speak by phone, and the two sides agree to rekindle trade talks ahead of a planned meeting between the two leaders scheduled for the Group of 20 (G20) summit in Japan at the end of June.

June 29, 2019

S&P 500: +0.77% (Monday, July 1)

At the G20 meeting in Osaka, the United States and China formally agree to restart trade talks after concessions from both sides. Trump agreed to no new tariffs and an easing of restrictions on Chinese telecom powerhouse Huawei Technologies Co Ltd. China agrees to unspecified new purchases of U.S. farm products.

Aug.1, 2019

S&P 500: -0.90%

After two days of trade talks with little progress and complaints by Trump that China had not followed through on a promise to buy more U.S. farm products, he announced 10% tariffs on $300 billion worth of Chinese imports, in addition to the 25% already levied on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods. Trump said the talks between Washington and Beijing would continue despite the new tariffs, and that the rate could be increased above 25 percent in stages.

Compiled by Dan Burns and Jonas Ekblom; Editing by Peter Cooney



Reuters: Top News – Timeline: Key dates in the U.S.-China trade war

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