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The Editors

Trump’s Trade Policy Goes From Bad to Worse

And Congress is letting it happen.

Trump and Lighthizer have usurped Congress on trade.

Trump and Lighthizer have usurped Congress on trade.

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Announcing plans for additional tariffs on $200 billion of imports, the Trump administration has taken another dangerous step toward escalating its trade war on China. China’s response, so far, has been measured, and that’s encouraging. The U.S. Congress has managed only the feeblest gesture of protest, and that’s disgraceful.

The president has told U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to draw up new 10 percent tariffs on a wide range of Chinese goods and materials. All the objections to the previous round of tariffs on $34 billion of goods apply, only more so. If the policy goes ahead after the seven weeks allowed for public comment, it will impose a hefty new tax on U.S. consumers and producers. Supply chains and investment plans will be thrown into disarray. And if China retaliates, as it might feel it must, the economic damage will be compounded.