President Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminum went in effect on March 23, 2018, hitting $2.8 billion of Chinese products, based on US 2017 import values. The tariff level is 25 percent for steel and 10 percent for aluminum. In response, China announced on April 2, 2018, that it started to impose tariffs on $2.4 billion of US products, ranging from aluminum waste and scrap, pork, fruits and nuts, and others.1 Aluminum waste and scrap, and pork are subject to the 25 percent tariff, and the rest will be charged 15 percent. The US tariffs were implemented on the basis that those steel and aluminum imports threaten US national security under the rarely-used Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962.
By comparison, the tariffs proposed by the Trump administration on April 3, 2018, for unfair trade practices under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 would cover US imports from China worth over $46 billion in 2017. China is threatening to retaliate on US exports to China worth $49.8 billion in 2017.
See Excel file for methodology.
1. Aluminum waste and scrap (HS 7602.00) includes used beverage container scrap and others.