May 08, 2019 / 10:48

Bluff again or next strike?

The Hanoitimes - Trump`s announcement surprised the world.

Just before the next round of trade talks between the US and China, US President Donald Trump tweeted about the possibility of raising trade tariffs on all imports from China to 25%. In his tweets, Trump threatened to levy 10% to 25% tariffs on US$200 billion of Chinese exports to the US and eventually to impose this tariff rate on additional US$325 billion of Chinese goods also to 25%. That would mean all imports from China would be levied the protectionist trade tariff of 25%.
The China-US trade war intensifies with Trump's suprise decision.
The China-US trade war intensifies with Trump's suprise decision.
Because export volume of the US to China is much smaller than that of China to the US, China would have to take corresponding measures besides imposing tit-for-tat retaliation.

Trump's announcement surprised the world. Until now, he has always appeared optimistic about the ongoing bilateral trade negotiations with China, making the world believe that the trade talks between the US and China would be successfully completed very soon. This turnaround in Trump's policy towards China certainly implied that he was not only disappointed but also angered by the way China has been carrying out the talks. Obviously Trump did not think that China faithfully wanted to solve the trade disputes with the US and that the Asian giant intended to play the so-called "time card" with the US. For Trump, that is why the talks drag on.

Trump's motives can only be first to increase pressure on China and to convince or to force China to agree on a deal comfortable and favorable to the US, and second to get high approval  in the US by appearing tough on China. In the short term, Trump's plan might be bearing fruit, for him only. China certainly retaliate, with trade tariffs too, and also other measures.

All would seriously harm the US economy and negatively affect the life and job of Americans and would hang over the next US presidential election in 2020 which Trump wants to win again. But until now, Trump had, more than once, announced or declared something and then did nothing. This time, it could be Trump's both bluff again and next strike. Trump has been obviously prepared for both scenarios: pressing up China to conclude trade talks or collapsing the talks. And all the consequences to the US - seem not to be the president’s concern.