Damaging fallout from Sino-US trade war

Trade wars assure losers, not winners, a reality geopolitically/economically/politically ignorant Trump doesn’t understand.

The longer his trade war continues, the most potential harm to the economies of both countries.

If Donald Trump imposes up to 25% tariffs on another $300 worth of Chinese imports, because its ruling authorities won’t yield to his unacceptable demands, they’ll be greater economic damage to both countries than already, the slowing world economy perhaps pushed into recession sooner than otherwise.

According to China’s General Administration of Customs data, the country’s exports to the US fell by 8.1% in the January-June period compared to the comparable 2018 period—amounting to $199.4 billion.

Its US imports were sharply down nearly 30% to $59 billion, economic growth of both countries slowing from the year-long trade war, showing no signs of ending.

According to Mark Williams, Capital Economics chief Asia economist, “Sooner or later…Trump will realize he’s not getting any of the things he asked for from China”—because he remains hardline, insisting Beijing yield to his one-sided demands, offering nothing in return to show good faith.

In early July, following his late June meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the Osaka, Japan, G20 summit, Trump tweeted: “China is letting us down in that they have not been buying the agricultural products…that they said they would.” Separately, he defended his indefensible tariff war.

Beijing insists on what the US doesn’t afford other countries, especially independent ones—mutual cooperation and respect for their sovereign rights.

Ahead of resumed trade talks on unspecified dates, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said, “Agricultural product trade is an important issue for discussion between China and the US.”

“A resolution of the issue can only be found by both sides on a foundation of equality and mutual respect.”

Last month, China’s Vice-Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs Han Jun warned that US farmers could lose the Chinese market if hostile Trump regime policies on the country persist.

“If the US doesn’t lift all [punitive] tariffs, bilateral agricultural product trade between China and the US, including soybean trade, will never go back to normal,” he stressed, adding, “If the US loses China’s market [to other countries], it will be very difficult for the US to regain it.” Beijing’s purchases of US agricultural products are way down because of Trump’s trade war and other hostile policies.

In 2018, China’s imports of US soybeans, its key agricultural export to the country, fell to 16.6 million tons from 32.8 million tons the previous year.

China’s market is vital for US farmers. They’ll lose it if hostile Trump regime policies toward Beijing continue.

Despite Trump’s promise to Xi about easing restrictions on Huawei, the company remains on the US blacklist.

Commerce Secretary Ross said US tech sales to the telecom equipment maker giant will only be permitted as long as there’s no threat to US national security.

It’s a way to keep the ban largely in place, a major obstacle to resolving bilateral differences, along with failure to remove punitive US tariffs and threat of adding more.

China insists on bilateral level playing field relations with the US on trade and other issues.

Washington demands China bend to its will, wanting the country transformed into a vassal state—assuring no change in adversarial relations.

The US treats all sovereign independent countries the same hostile way, a way to make enemies and lose allies.

Economist Julian Evans-Pritchard believes Sino/US “trade talks will break down again before long.”

He’s likely right because of unacceptable Trump regime demands.

On Friday, Huawei’s Chairman Liang Hua said, “So far we haven’t seen any tangible [US] change.”

As long as Trump and his team remain hardline, it’s likely not coming.

Nor is resolving bilateral differences possible as long as the US fails to respect sovereign Chinese rights.

A final comment

In the April—June period, China’s economy grew by 6.2% (the true figure likely lower). Officially reported growth was lowest since record-keeping began in 1992.

Lower growth is further evidence of the fallout from the Trump regime’s trade war, things likely to worsen ahead as it continues.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.” Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

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