The investigation resulted in tariffs on steel and aluminum products from China and many other countries in March. The White House initially announced tariffs - 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum - arguing they would protect US companies and allow for the creation of new manufacturing plants - key Trump promises in the 2016 presidential campaign.
The Chinese are unable to match US tariffs on a dollar-per-dollar basis but Beijing can make it hard for USA companies doing business in China.
US President Donald Trump says Beijing "is talking to" Washington about their trade dispute, claiming his tariffs strategy is working against China and other trade partners.
And he said this approach has paid huge dividends, reviving the American steel industry and bringing manufacturing jobs to the U.S. It has also slapped 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports. China's growing sweet tooth is seen as a big sales opportunity for global makers of cookies and chocolate bars like Mars and Hershey (HSY.N). He also said China was "for the first time doing poorly against us". The US wants concessions from China that it is not demanding from NAFTA, Europe and other allies.
The Chinese government has said that it will make a final decision on if, when, and how these tariffs will be implemented next month.
Mr Trump continued his focus on tariffs yesterday morning, tweeting that the duties are working "big time" and that imported goods should be taxed or made in the US.
Trump portrays the tariffs as a tax on foreigners, but the reality is that tariffs are taxes on USA companies and consumers.
By contrast, the Chinese phone maker Huawei has just overtaken the USA brand Apple as the most purchased make of smartphone in the world.
Throughout all of this, the USA continues to criticise China's trade practices as "unfair" because of the domestic win-win relationship between central government and private producers.
While the Trump administration's steel tariffs might be meant to increase domestic-steel production, bigger job losses could happen at manufacturing companies that use steel, Paglia noted.
There are already signs that prices are rising because of Trump's tariffs. China immediately retaliated by imposing levies on the same amount of United States goods.
Another $16 billion in US levies on Chinese goods will likely follow in the coming days or weeks, against which Beijing has said it will retaliate. The trade gap narrowed in April and May as farmers front-loaded soybean exports to China before Beijing's retaliatory tariffs came into effect in early July. That's something that was going to happen anyway, with or without any agreement with Trump - and with or without his tariffs and tariff threats.
Fast forward to today, when the WSJ gives some further color, noting that while "the administration didn't spell out a particular rationale for increasing the tariff...."
Kudlow, a devout free trade supporter who criticized Trump's approach before joining the White House this year, has tried to steer the president toward an embrace of an idea that every country remove all of their tariffs in a way that would still achieve conservative political goals.