U.S. Trade Debates: Select Disputes and Actions [Updated March 2, 2021]   [open pdf - 546KB]

From the Introduction: "During the Trump Administration, the United States and some of its major trading partners engaged in a contentious 'war' of words over trade--one that tipped over into action in 2018, mostly in the form of increased tariffs. The tariffs imposed by the United States, combined with retaliatory measures adopted by other countries (particularly with respect to China), reportedly continue to have noticeable effects on trade flows and U.S. firms. To date, most ongoing disputes related to these actions remain unresolved. Although the scale and scope of these unilateral U.S. tariff increases are unprecedented in modern times, tensions and irritants in international trade relations are not uncommon. Over the last 100 years, the United States has been involved in a number of trade disputes. According to the World Trade Organization (WTO), as of March 2021, the United States has been involved in 280 trade disputes (addressed through the WTO dispute settlement system since 1995), either as a complainant or a respondent. Most disputes are settled, or when unresolved, are contained or defused through bilateral and multilateral negotiations. Since the early 20th century, only one dispute has resulted in a worldwide tit-for-tat escalation of tariffs: the trade dispute ignited by the U.S. 'Smoot-Hawley' Tariff Act of 1930."

Report Number:
CRS In Focus, IF10958
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/
Media Type:
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