China overplayed its hand with U.S. President Trump on trade, and it could cost them dearly
Thursday May 9, 2019. 04:41 PM , from Mac Daily News
“China and the United States were moving towards an agreement to end a months-long trade war when, suddenly, it all fell apart this week,” James Griffiths writes for CNN. “Over the weekend, US President Donald Trump promised to raise tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods, sending markets plummeting and wrong-footing Beijing, which did not issue an immediate response and muzzled state media from reporting on the threat.”
“On Twitter, Trump accused Beijing of attempting to run out the clock on his administration in the assumption it will be dealing with a Democratic administration after 2020. Speaking at a rally in Florida later Wednesday, Trump said the new tariffs were because China ‘broke the deal,'” Griffiths writes. “‘The vice premier is flying in tomorrow, good man, but they broke the deal. They can’t do that,’ he added. ‘If we don’t make the deal, nothing wrong with taking in over 100 billion a year. We never did that before.'”
“In launching his trade war, Trump hoped to force China to further open its market to US exports, stop the forced sharing of intellectual property with China, and rewrite trade deals he said have unfairly benefited Beijing. To do so, he has launched an all out assault against the Chinese economy, massively ramping up tariffs on a large variety of goods and industries,” Griffiths writes. “Trump’s strategy is based on the fact that, as the US is the net buyer and China is the net seller in their trade relationship, Beijing will blink before Washington. The Chinese economy is also fundamentally more vulnerable than that of the US, and Chinese President Xi Jinping faces a host of political pressures that make a prolonged trade war difficult.”
“Trump has a habit of making policy on Twitter, but his pronouncements on Sunday did not come from nowhere. US officials told CNN that at the most recent round of trade talks in Beijing, their Chinese counterparts sought to renegotiate significant aspects of a prospective deal that the Americans felt were already wrapped up,” Griffiths writes. “It appears to be based on a misreading of statements and actions by Trump that he was concerned about the state of the US economy and would be willing to make concessions.”
“The assumption that this position of renewed strength would be enough to make Trump blink seems wildly miscalculated, however. Not only is the US economy not nearly as weak as some in Beijing appear to believe, this type of last minute renegotiation seems almost specifically designed to infuriate Trump,” Griffiths writes. “The US President has already shown himself willing to walk away from deals when they don’t go his direction…”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: No pain, no gain.
The darkest hour of the night comes just before the dawn. — Thomas Fuller
Hopefully, this is the impetus that drives both sides to a comprehensive U.S.-China trade deal that works for both countries.
I’m cognizant that in both the U.S. and China, there have been cases where everyone hasn’t benefited, where the benefit hasn’t been balanced. My belief is that one plus one equals three. The pie gets larger, working together. — Apple CEO Tim Cook, March 24, 2018
The United States is insisting that all countries that have placed artificial Trade Barriers and Tariffs on goods going into their country, remove those Barriers & Tariffs or be met with more than Reciprocity by the U.S.A. Trade must be fair and no longer a one way street!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 24, 2018
At least half of the popular fallacies about economics come from assuming that economic activity is a zero-sum game, in which what is gained by someone is lost by someone else. But transactions would not continue unless both sides gained, whether in international trade, employment, or renting an apartment. — Thomas Sowell, June 14, 2006
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