On February 6, 2020, China revealed that it would cut tariffs on $75 billion of goods by half to fulfill its end of its bargain after recently signing a trade agreement with Washington.
Starting on February 14, China will reduce tariffs on some American goods from 10 percent to 5 percent. Tariffs on other items will be lowered from 5% to 2.5%, according to China’s Ministry of Finance.
The tariffs were slapped on in September and December in the midst of a protracted trade scuffle between the two superpowers.
The U.S. government has already rolled out plans to scale back tariffs on certain Chinese imports that were flagged during the trade war. However, most tariffs will stay in place.
Beginning on February 14, 2020, the U.S. will reduce tariffs on approximately $120 billion in Chinese goods — which include electronics and apparel — from 15 percent to 7.5 percent according to the U.S. trade representative’s office. This also complies with a pledge made under the U.S.-China trade agreement that was signed on January 15.
The tariff cuts come at a time where there are doubts about Beijing’s willingness to comply with the phase-one trade deal, in which China promised to increase its purchases of American goods and services by $200 billion during the timespan of two year.
Despite such concerns, the decision to reduce tariffs shows some willingness on the part of Chinese leadership to carry out the deal that effectively ended the two-year trade conflict between the two countries.
In a statement that came alongside Thursday’s announcement, the Finance Ministry said the decision was aimed at alleviating “economic and trade frictions and expand economic and trade cooperation” between the two countries. “We hope to work with the United States towards the ultimate elimination of all increased tariffs,” it added.
This is a good first step, however the Trump administration must continue pressuring China. China’s ambitions go beyond economic transactions.
Given its authoritarian nature, China is seeking to expand its reach through trade deals and migration. The Trump administration will need to maintain economic pressure and create migration policies that keep Communist Party agents from doing harm within the American border.
U.S. Law Enforcement Bust 27 People Connected to Mexican Sinaloa Cartel
Over two dozen people were arrested on drug charges in connection to a Mexican cartel smuggling cocaine into the U.S. Following a two-year investigation, 27 people were arrested through Operation Tripwire, an investigation effort U.S. officials have been working on featuring members of the Sinaloa Cartel.
The trafficking network went from Los Angeles, California to Tucson, Arizona and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where cocaine originating from Mexico was smuggled stateside. The United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, Scott Brady declared “this is a large organization that was trafficking hundreds of kilograms of cocaine throughout the country and has direct ties to the Sinaloa cartel in Mexico.”
U.S. authorities recounted that the investigations started after an agent in Pittsburgh was able to identify an address that received large quantities of suspicious-looking packages coming from California. Since then, agents started to do investigation on other members of the network across the U.S.
Across the span of seven months, authorities were able to intercept U.S. calls made by some of the alleged traffickers with Sinaloa carte leaders in Mexico. On September 9, 2020, 27 were arrested in Arizona, California, and Pennsylvania.
According to American authorities, $1.3 million in cash and over 140 kilograms of cocaine were seized. The aforementioned people arrested are now facing a prison sentence of between 10 years and life in prison.
The border situation is no joke. Prior administrations have largely neglected the issue and have allowed for unprecedented levels of illegal immigration and drug trafficking to cross the U.S. border.
In a prior instance, BLP reported on how Mexico is a failed state that cannot maintain public order and is largely being pushed around by cartels. Due to its proximity to the U.S., Mexico’s problems will likely spillover stateside.
This is why border security is crucial. Thankfully, the U.S. has a president in Donald Trump that gets the memo. He’ll still need help from Congress, however,
That’s why it’s crucial that America First Republicans have strong showings at all branches of government in 2020.
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