Is This A Trade War Yet? ⚔️

 Alex Brandon / AP

Alex Brandon / AP

Tariffs galore

On Monday, President Trump announced that the US will be levying a 10% tariff on $200 billion of goods imported from China. This was followed by a warning that additional tariffs on $267 billion will be enforced should China retaliate against the US industries. 

Tit for tat

Beijing has reiterated that they will not merely play defense in this escalating trade war. China has already placed tariffs on $50 billion worth of US exportsfollowing Trump’s initial set of tariffs on Chinese imports. The theft of US intellectual property (IP) has been one of America’s major gripes regarding Chinese trade practices.


FAVORABLE:

LA Times: China is stealing American intellectual property. Trump's tariffs are a chance to stop it

The Hill: Trump: ‘Tariffs have put the U.S. in a very strong bargaining position’

Outlets with a favorable perspective on the tariffs highlight that Trump is confronting China on unfair trade practices and the theft of American IP. They emphasize that the theft of US IP by China is valued between $255 – 600 billion. They argue that the US is the only country that can reel in China’s unfair trade practices. They also quote Trump’s tweet regarding the resurgence in America’s steel industry following global tariffs on imported steel.

UNFAVORABLE:

Business Insider: Stocks tumble as markets brace for Trump's next round of tariffs

CNBC: Stocks fall after Trump says US-China trade announcement coming after the bell

Outlets with an unfavorable stance on the tariffs highlight that US stocks took a hit following the announcement. They contend that Trump is siding with trade hardliners as the US overestimates its leverage in trade negotiations. They note that China has retaliated before to tariffs and will do so again. Trump’s approach to trade, according to some, is hurting the global economy.


A love-hate relationship

China’s rising influence has forced Washington to see them as a strategic competitor. That being said, the economies of both countries are deeply intertwined. For example, China is a major supplier of rare earth metals used in consumer electronics. Consequently, China is also a major perpetrator of US IP theft. Whether Trump’s aggressive trade stance will curb certain Chinese trade practices or hurt the American consumer remains to be seen.

In the meantime...

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