Trump Regime Escalates Trade War with China
On Monday, Trump announced 10% tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese products.
They’re on top of 25% duties on $50 billion worth earlier, new ones imposed effective September 24 – 10% tariffs to be increased to 25% on January 1 if Beijing doesn’t bend to unacceptable US demands.
Half of Chinese exports to America are now affected. If Beijing retaliates as expected, Trump threatened to “immediately pursue phase three,” imposing additional tariffs on another $267 billion worth of Chinese imports – covering virtually all its exports to the US.
Instead of responsibly easing bilateral tensions, Trump unacceptably escalated trade war, things heading toward making it full-blown, the global economy to be harmed by his actions. How severely depends on how far things escalate and for how long.
On Tuesday, Beijing’s state controlled People’s Daily said the following:
China’s Commerce Ministry “will have to take countermeasures to respond to the US’ fresh tariff decision, in a move to safeguard the country’s legitimate interests and the global free trade order,” adding:
“The US insists on leveraging tariff hikes, which brings new uncertainty to the negotiations between the two sides” – resolving major differences less likely, China unwilling to accept US bullying.
The harder Trump unacceptably pushes, the tougher it gets to step back from the brink. China is no 97-pound weakling country. It can hit back as hard as it’s affected by hostile policies.
Trump and regime hardliners believing they can bully Beijing into accepting their demands will learn otherwise the hard way if they push things too far.
On Tuesday, China’s Commerce Ministry said it would implement what it called “synchronized countermeasures” against the US in response to newly imposed Trump regime tariffs, warning of “new uncertainties (and) negative consequences (from DJT’s) bad behavior.”
China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Beijing won’t accept US “unilateral trade action and protectionism,” adding countermeasures will be announced at an appropriate time. See below.
An unnamed Xi Jinping government source said newly announced Trump regime tariffs ruined chances for constructive trade talks later this month. Four earlier rounds failed to resolve major differences.
A team headed by Vice Premier Liu He was scheduled to meet with Trump regime officials in Washington next week. It’s unclear if talks will be held following newly announced US duties.
It didn’t take long for Beijing to respond. Effective September 24, tariffs ranging from 5 – 10% will be imposed on $60 billion worth of over 5,200 US products.
China’s Finance Ministry said the retaliation aims to curb “trade friction,” as well as “unilateralism and protectionism of the United States.”
The US Chamber of Commerce in China warned the Trump regime not to underestimate Beijing’s determination to counter its hostile trade policy.
Its president William Zarit said “(c)ontrary to views in Washington, China can — and will — dig its heels in, and we are not optimistic about the prospect for a resolution in the short term. No one will emerge victorious from this counterproductive cycle.”
Chinese exports to America are threefold its imports. It has lots of ways to retaliate against Washington besides imposing duties on US products.
The Chamber of Commerce reported that over half of 430 US companies operating in China it surveyed said they face slower customs clearance, along with increased inspections and bureaucratic procedures since the Trump regime began imposing tariffs on Chinese goods in July.
Nothing in prospect suggests a full-blown trade war can be avoided – assuring losers, not winners the way things are heading.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”