The United States has officially declared war against hundreds of Chinese goods and products. As of Friday July 6th, the Trump Administration unveiled a new wave of tariffs against imports from China, sparking major retaliatory measures from the Chinse government in response. Trump boldly imposed tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese products, prompting President Xi Jinping to impose an equal amount of tariffs on U.S goods imported into China. President Trump’s primary reasoning behind unleashing such restrictive tariffs is regarding China’s status as an holistically unfair trading partner and grave threat to the U.S economy.
During the 2016 election and now amid his second year in office, Trump has repeatedly echoed his disdain for past trade deals with China, that have rapidly benefited the Chinese economy at the continual expense of the U.S. For good reason, President Trump has often disparaged the gross failure of previous U.S trade deals gone sour under former Presidential Administrations, including Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama, each of whom has allowed China unfettered access to U.S goods and an unchecked expanse of the Chinese economy through the WTO. In his Crippled America book, President Trump hit upon many of the most nefarious scandals China has perpetuated in trades with the U.S, stating,
“There are people who wish I wouldn’t refer to China as our enemy. But that’s exactly what they are,” Trump explains. “They have destroyed entire industries by utilizing low-wage workers, cost us tens of thousands of jobs, spied on our businesses, stolen our technology, and have manipulated and devalued their currency, which makes importing our goods more expensive – and sometimes, impossible.”
China continues to ramp up heavily restrictive tariffs against U.S goods exported to Asia, producing a trade deficit of $152.2 billion as of this year. According to a recent USA Today report, “for May, the America’s deficit in goods with China rose 18.7 percent to $33.2 billion.” This, despite the fact that the United States is currently experiencing its lowest trade deficit in decades, following the increasing trend of U.S goods exported to other countries due to the economic policies of the Trump administration.
According to the article, “The Commerce Department said Friday that the May trade deficit — the difference between what America sells and what it buys in foreign markets — fell 6.6 percent to $43.1 billion. It was the smallest imbalance since October 2016.” Exports with other nations arose 1.9 percent to a record $215.3 billion, while imports rose up by 0.4 percent to $258.4 billion.
In response to China’s $34 million tariff, President Trump proposed future tariffs, each more heavily restrictive and economically devastating than the last. The next proposed set consists of a $16 billion tariff, set to be released in 2 weeks, along with a $200 and $300 billion tariff, equaling more than a whopping $500 billion in restrictions on Chinese products, all in response to China’s stubborn retaliation and refusal to drop its restrictive trading methods. According to Fox News, the $34 million tariff is far-reaching, constituting a 25% tax on roughly 818 Chinse goods, including “X-ray machine parts, water boilers, airplane tires, and industrial parts”. The $34 million Chinese tariff on U.S imports affects a wide array of products such as “soybeans, electric cars, pork and other products”.
The Fox report also reveals a quote from a senior Trump official regarding the administration’s stance toward the emerging trade war with China: “We are ready for a trade war. If they want it we are ready to fight it. They need to remember America would win that so-called war, hands-down. Our market is bigger, our consumers richer – we are the global innovator. All we ask is for an even playing field from the Chinese. If they won’t agree to that, then they will have to deal with the consequences.”
China stands to lose a great deal more in the coming trade war with the U.S, due to the fact that China imports a great deal from the U.S much more than America imports from China. In a fiery campaign speech in Montana on Thursday, President Trump echoed his disgust toward the $462 million trade deficit that the U.S currently has with China, and declared his mission to fix this gross imbalance for the betterment of the American economy, despite what the President described as warnings from a group of unnamed politicians seeking to “leave things the way they are”. In response to this warning, Trump proudly declared that, “China is killing us,” and that “the U.S has all the cards.”
Indeed, the U.S holds the upper-hand in the trade war. With Trump as President, the era of Chinese economic theft has officially ended. This recent tariff clash is only the first step in a long stream of major consequences facing the Chinese economy if they continue to rip the U.S off in lop-sided trade deals. China has been placed on notice, and would be wise not to strive to match the U.S in successive tariffs, which will only cripple their economy at a far greater rate than it would hurt America’s.
In addition to the Chinese government launching $34 billion in tariffs against American products, the Chinese Minister of Commerce accused President Trump’s methods as, “typical trade bullying”, and accused Trump of having “launched the largest trade war in economic history.”
If true, then China has an obligation to avoid facing a looming economic recession and end this trade war by submitting to American tariffs, reforming their unfair trade policies, and scrapping any attempts to undermine the unparalleled American economy.