The Raising Tariffs on Imports from China Act was introduced by Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) and aims to increase tariffs on imports from China until the United State’s bilateral trade deficit returns to balance. In tandem with this legislation, Senator Hawley is pushing for debt limit talks to focus on the reduction of the trade deficit.

Following the normalization of trade relations between the United States and China, the trade deficit grew to 382,917 million in 2022. Senator Hawley points to the ongoing trade deficit between the United States and China, which has averaged $350 billion annually since President Clinton granted China permanent Normal Trade Relations, as the catalyst for the loss of 3.82 million jobs, particularly 2.89 million manufacturing jobs.

As of 2020, China is the United States’ largest supplier of goods imports and the top two import categories include electrical machinery, machinery, toys and sports equipment, furniture and bedding, and miscellaneous textile articles. Additionally, China is the 7th largest supplier of agricultural imports to the United States and has steadily increased imports of services to the United States since 2010.

Senator Hawley’s legislation Raising Tariffs on Imports from China would:

  • Require the President to calculate and subsequently publish the total value of imports into the United States from China and total value of exports from the United States to China annually,
  • Mandates the President to impose an additional duty of 25% on all goods imported from China if, a bilateral deficit is published in the previous calendar year, and
  • Authorizes the President to remove duties if, during the previous calendar year, the United States publishes a bilateral surplus with China.