Trump says the United States has already lost its trade war with China

05 April, 2018, 00:44 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • China Seeks EU's Support in Standing Up to US Trade Threat

Fear and uncertainty over a growing trade dispute with China continued to weigh on investors Wednesday, with markets opening sharply lower before recovering by early afternoon.

On Tuesday afternoon the US released a list of 1,300 products from China that it could hit with tariffs, totaling about $50 billion in trade.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpWalker warns of Dem wave in Wisconsin after liberal wins state judicial race Trump speaks with Israel's Netanyahu as tensions simmer in region Dem-backed candidate wins Wisconsin Supreme Court race MORE said the U.S.is not in a trade war with China in a tweet hours after China unveiled the latest round of tariffs targeting $50 billion in USA goods.

As Trump said, the USA tariffs came after an investigation into the theft of U.S. intellectual property by China.

"I think the anxiety the market is reflecting is that it could escalate into a generalized (trade) war", he told the business news channel. China wasted no time saying it would punch back with $50 billion in tariffs on 106 products it imports from America. For example, Chile, Georgia and New Zealand wines enter China tariff-free and only pay the 30 percent tax rate.

The Trump administration has a track record of announcing aggressive and headline-grabbing trade policies and then diluting or abandoning them in the face of stiff opposition and in exchange for comparatively minor concessions. It may or may not be true that trade wars are easy to win, but they are certainly easier to start than they are to stop.

Stock markets recoiled on Wednesday as China retaliated in an escalating trade war with the United States, leaving investors reluctant to take positions in anything but the safest of assets.

But as November's mid-term elections approach, the political ramifications of the current trade policy could be greater than the economic ones for Trump, he added.

The president argues China doesn't play fair on trade, which is why there's such a large trade deficit in its favor between the two countries. "These measures will be announced shortly".


Behind the scenes, both sides are trying to negotiate a settlement, and have been leaking some details to the media in an effort to calm concerns about the economic impact. And that will be much harder now that tariffs have been announced. It has always been received economic wisdom that tariffs represent a drag on global trade (hence the Brexiters' fixation on free-trade agreements), but they are not the only barrier to trade in a complex and increasing regulated trading world.

It's a strategy that might just work.

De Bolle said Beijing likely believes it has greater a capacity to inflict pain on the United States than vice versa.

But this state of affairs may not last.

China has appeared anxious to avoid the problem, and the government-run Xinhua news agency has published numerous articles on averting the Thucydides Trap in recent years.

According to the 2017 index on manufacturing development published by the Chinese Academy of Engineering on April 2, the top four manufacturing nations in 2016 were the USA with a score of 172.28, Germany with 121.31, Japan with 112.52 and China with 104.34.

The list of areas where the two powers are in increasingly pointed strategic competition now covers trade, overseas investment, advanced technology, naval and military armaments.

China will also impose levies on American whisky, cigars and tobacco, some types of beef, lubricants, and propane and other plastic products. The question now is whether China will make any concessions in talks now under way between the two sides, before the tariffs come into force. "It is possible for the countries to pull back from the brink".

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