What Ever Became of That Trump-China Trade War?: QuickTake Q&A

Wednesday, 08 November 2017, 05:52:31 AM. Donald Trump invoked China so much as a candidate that his mere pronunciation of the word became something of a craze. Since becoming U.S. president, he’s (largely) toned down the rhetoric and stopped short of carrying out campaign threats, including one to label China a currency manipulator. That’s eased some of the concern that the world’s two biggest economies are headed for an outright trade
Donald Trump invoked China so much as a candidate that his mere pronunciation of the word became something of a craze. Since becoming U.S. president, he’s (largely) toned down the rhetoric and stopped short of carrying out campaign threats, including one to label China a currency manipulator. That’s eased some of the concern that the world’s two biggest economies are headed for an outright trade war. But a pending U.S. complaint against China for stealing intellectual property -- and a warning by Trump that countries doing business with North Korea will face sanctions -- highlight how tensions remain close to the surface ahead of Trump’s visit to China. Ahead of his arrival, Trump said the U.S. can take “very, very strong action” and “very soon” against China on trade. 1. Why the change in tone since the campaign trail? There’s the hard reality that taking on China over trade is more difficult than it looks. There’s Trump’s high regard for Chinese President Xi Jinping. And there’s the threat posed by North Korea’s growing nuclear might, which has dominated U.S.-China interaction since the election, overshadowing trade. 2. What exactly did Trump threaten? As a candidate, Trump pledged to label China a currency manipulator "on day one" of his administration. That didn’t happen. He also said he’d bring cases against China for "unfair subsidy behavior" and use "every lawful presidential power to remedy trade disputes," including the application of tariffs. He once broached a tax...Read more
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