From the civil war in Syria, we're explaining a possible trade war between the U.S. and China —or is it all over before it could begin?
Earlier this week, Chinese President Xi Jinping said his nation would strengthen intellectual property rights, increase foreign access to China's markets and significantly lower tariffs or taxes on imported cars. These are all things that President Trump wants China to do. The American leader says he's thankful for the Chinese leader's words and now, it's possible that the back-and-forth tariffs between the two nations would come to a stop.
But what if they don't? What if actions don't follow words and the two countries continue ramping up tariffs instead of holding back on them? How could a potential trade war affect every day Americans?
VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN MONEY CORRESPONDENT: People are freaking out about a trade war with China. But why?
Well, the U.S. imports more products from China than any other country in the world, $505 billion worth of goods in 2017, while only sending $130 billion worth of products to China. This creates a gap of $370 billion, a large part of the trade deficit with China.
In the time I've been talking, did you notice all the products in the room that are made in China have disappeared? Now, a trade war with China doesn't mean we'd stop importing these Chinese goods, but it does go to show just how much we depend on them.
Let's rewind in case you missed it. For example, this TV. The U.S. imports $146 billion worth of electrical machinery and equipment. The most of anything we import from China. This includes remotes, laptops and cellphones.
Also, sneakers. We import $1.4 billion worth a year. And these umbrellas, the U.S. imported $113 million worth in 2017, and China happens to be the world's largest supplier of umbrellas. And the list goes on.
One thing we export a lot of is playing cards, but the cards stack we print in is from — you guessed it — China. There's no tariff, but we still spent $120 million importing card stack last year.
So, while these products aren't going anywhere, they could have some stiff tariffs on them, which means our lives could get a little more expensive.