Why is the Us imposing tariffs?
The root of the problem for Trump with Canada and Mexico stems from the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta), signed in 1994, which the president has called a “disaster” and “one of the worst deals anybody in history has ever entered into”. The White House wants to renegotiate the terms of Nafta and is using import tariffs to apply pressure.
When it comes to China, Trump believes Beijing is using “unfair” trade practices to gain an advantage on the US, including lax observation of intellectual property law. The president also takes issue with the size of the US trade deficit with China. Some economists question the accuracy of the official figures, yet the US Census Bureau shows America bought $376bn more of Chinese goods than the total value of all US goods sold in the Asian country last year.