Didn’t See That Coming: China Threat of New Crude Oil Tariff a Surprise in US
The US energy industry has seen its profits boosted by fracking in domestic shale fields, which produce some 10.9 million barrels of oil per day.
The US is also exporting a record 2 million barrels per day, and encouraging countries like China to import more US energy products instead of those from Iran, after Trump recently withdrew from the historic Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) 2015 nuclear arms deal with Tehran.
China is currently the largest buyer of Iranian oil as well, purchasing some 650,000 barrels daily during the first quarter of 2018.
In late March, the White House slapped trade sanctions on China, the world's second largest economy, including limitations in the investment sector as well as tariffs on $60 billion worth of products.
Separately, in a bid to deliver on campaign promises, Trump announced his intention to impose a 25-percent tariff on steel imports and a 10-percent tariff on aluminum imports from an array of US allies, including the EU, Mexico and Canada. Those nations — longtime allies to the US — have promised retaliatory economic measures.
Trump has also reportedly mulled placing a 25-percent import tax on European cars, something that would significantly affect the highly-profitable US market for expensive German automobiles.