Making The Case For Removing Tariffs : Planet Money The next round of trade barriers with China could include a 25 percent levy on Chinese antiquities. One dealer went to Washington to tell Congress why that tariff could hurt our allies and ourselves.
NPR logo Making The Case For Removing Tariffs

Making The Case For Removing Tariffs

Eric Zetterquist/ Zetterquist Galleries
Eric Zetterquist/ Zetterquist Galleries

China has been at the center of a months-long debate about tariffs this year. The U.S. has erected trade barriers in two phases so far. Fifty billion dollars of Chinese goods are currently affected. The U.S. trade representative is talking about tariffs on a further $200 billion of imports, which could apply as soon as this week.

If this latest round happens, it will mean that by value, about half of the goods imported from China into the U.S. will be taxed an extra 10 to 25 percent. That includes Chinese antiquities, which is ironic for two reasons. First, while those goods may have been made in China originally, many hundreds of years ago, they don't actually come to us from China: dealers usually buy them from places like Japan or Korea. So the tariff doesn't affect China at all. In fact, China has banned the export of antiquities, which means the tariff actually helps China, as opposed to hurting it.

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