Tariffs: U.S.-China trade spat heats up again
The White House this week announced it would proceed with $50 billion in tariffs on Chinese imports and new limits on Chinese investment in U.S. tech industries, marking “the latest dizzying turn in President Trump’s carrot-and-stick approach to trade negotiations,” said David Lynch in The Washington Post. The White House said specifics of the investment restrictions and enhanced export controls would be announced by June 30. The move came less than 10 days after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin assured investors that a trade war with China was “on hold.” It also amplifies an “air of unpredictability” ahead of U.S.-China trade negotiations in Beijing this weekend.
“Trump’s on-again, off-again strategy on China may backfire,” said Julia Horowitz in CNN.com. Not long after China and the U.S. declared a “temporary truce” in their escalating trade spat, the U.S. said that China would increase purchases of American goods and services to reduce the $375 billion trade imbalance. But this week, the Trump administration “abruptly changed its tune” and imposed the tough penalties. Although one of Trump’s chief negotiating tactics has always been his unpredictability, his Chinese strategy is “baffling trade experts, who think the whiplash could ultimately hamper the United States’ ability to get what it wants from Beijing.” ■