China’s official Communist Party newspapers ran editorials on August 5 through 7 attacking President Trump’s trade policies. A Global Times editorial on August 5 challenged statements made by Larry Kudlow, director of the Trump administration’s National Economic Council, regarding China’s imposition of tariffs on $60 billion in U.S. products. It quoted Kudlow’s remarks, “I might think the $60 billion is a weak response to our $200 [billion].” Kudlow also warned that China had “better take President Trump seriously.”
The editorial responded: “Instead of warning China, Kudlow should warn the Trump administration not to underestimate China’s determination to fight to the end.”
An August 6 editorial in People’s World charged: “Washington is playing double-faced tactics in the ongoing trade war.”
The editorial said the United States “created a new tactic of accelerating the trade war while advertising its willingness for talks. The mainstream opinion is that the US wants to use carrot-and-stick diplomacy to bully China into unilateral trade concessions, while some others hold that the hardliners in the White House overwhelm those calling for talks.”
Another editorial in People’s Daily for August 7 noted that China’s Ministry of Commerce has announced new countermeasures in response to the additional tariffs on Chinese goods recently imposed by Washington. The Chinese tariffs target $60 billion worth of U.S. imported products at four separate rates. The article said the MOC’s announcement is “a firm counterattack as the US continues to threaten another 25 percent in tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods.”
The New American noted in July that China has much more to lose than the United States in any protracted trade war: “Take away China’s exports to the United States, and its economic growth would be severely damaged.”
We pointed out that the tariffs imposed by the United States on Chinese goods are not motivated by traditional “balance-of-trade’ considerations, but are rather a response to unfair Chinese trade practices, citing President Trump’s allegations that the Chinese have blatantly stolen U.S. technology without sufficient compensation to the American companies that had developed it and have thrown up barriers to U.S. businesses that wish to enter the Chinese market.