Since the 1980s, Trump has supported tariffs to reduce the U.S. trade deficit and encourage domestic production, and said the country was “ripped off” by its trading partners; The imposition of tariffs has become an important part of his presidential campaign.  A context of the Council of Foreign Relations stated that while many economists and trade experts did not believe that trade deficits were hurting the economy, others felt that persistent trade deficits were often a problem and that there was a substantial debate about the size of the foreign government trade deficit and the policies to be adopted to reduce it.  Almost all economists who responded to the Associated Press and Reuters polls said that Trump`s tariffs would do more harm than good to the U.S. economy, and some economists have argued for alternative ways for the United States to deal with its trade deficit with China.     In July 2018, academic Xu Zhangrun said that the trade war revealed the underlying weaknesses of China`s political system and criticized Chinese President Xi Jinping for his “subliminal pride” and “vanity policy.”  John Bolton, then national security adviser, said the reasons for President Trump`s prioritization of a trade agreement on other considerations with China were highlighted during a private meeting with Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Japan in June 2019. According to Bolton, Trump asked Xi to build camps to stop a million or more Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang, and said he had to do the right thing and asked Xi Jinping to help him win the next presidential election by increasing the purchase of soybeans and wheat. Later, Trump questioned Bolton`s characterization of events and tweeted that Bolton`s book was “a compilation of lies and fabricated stories.” Trump has expressly rejected Bolton`s claims about Xinjiang. But at a campaign rally on February 10, 2020 in Manchester, New Hampshire, Trump said, “Last month, we signed a groundbreaking trade agreement with China that will defeat so many of our adversaries.” Sections 301 to 310 of the Trade Act 1974, as amended, are commonly referred to as “Section 301.” It is one of the main legal means used by the United States to enforce U.S. rights through trade agreements and to address “unfair” foreign barriers to U.S. exports.
Table 11 lists the top 15 U.S. products from China in 2017. Of these, USTR duties apply (or would apply) to 10 of the 15 import categories. The largest U.S. double-digit import is HTS 85 (machines and electrical appliances and their parts; Tonal and reproducor recorders, televisions and reproducors, parts and accessories), which is also the most affected category (in terms of overall trading) in the UsTR pricing list.