The United States is embarking on a rapid-fire experiment in borrowing without precedent, as the government and corporations take on trillions of dollars of debt to offset the economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic.
The trade war has cost farmers potential Chinese orders for the corn-based fuel as well as for a byproduct that is used as animal feed. Now, the refinery exemptions are compounding the financial pain — and threatening political consequences for the president, who won this state and its six electoral votes in 2016.
President Trump unexpectedly announced on Thursday that he will impose new tariffs on $300 billion worth of imports from China, effectively taxing every product that Americans buy from China. The president acted one day after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer wrapped up two days of talks in Shanghai aimed at a comprehensive trade deal.
The Commerce Department said Wednesday that — despite more than two years of President Trump’s “America First” policies — the United States last year posted a $891.2 billion merchandise trade deficit, the largest in the nation’s 243-year history.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the Trump administration is putting its trade war with China “on hold” after two days of talks in Washington that he said had produced agreement on increased Chinese purchases of American products and measures to make it easier for U.S. companies to operate in China.