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Brookings Institution

Popularity of tariffs on China may lead to political pain for Trump

In less than two weeks, U.S. customs officers are scheduled to begin collecting tariffs on Chinese imports, a step that will either give President Donald Trump the leverage he needs to secure a trade deal with Beijing or plunge the world's two largest economies into a dangerous commercial conflict.

With no talks underway between the two sides, prospects for an early deal that averts imposition of the import levies appear dim.

Once the U.S. tariffs on the first $34 billion in Chinese goods take effect on July 6 — and trigger Chinese retaliation against American farmers and exporters — the political pain will mount for the president, according to several former U.S....

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