When President Donald Trump proposed to impose tariffs worth $50 billion on Chinese goods, some feared that the move may lead to a trade war with Beijing.
Those fears were partly confirmed when China responded by proposing to impose tariffs on U.S. goods, but the tit-for-tat is just part of Trump’s negotiation strategy, because it is clear that a protracted trade war will harm China much more, since it is dependent on America’s enormous consumer market, according to Stephen Moore, a distinguished visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation and an economics analyst at CNN.
“You have to understand that Donald Trump’s best-selling book is called ‘The Art of the Deal’ and he is a negotiator,” Moore told The Epoch Times. “So he does want to negotiate for the United States a better deal with China.”
Moore sees Trump’s position in two ways. From one angle, the tariffs are a way to negotiate, but the president hasn’t backed down and is likely staking his position with the knowledge that China would suffer much worse if the two nations continue to ramp up a tariff conflict.
So far, the Trump administration has only proposed a round of tariffs and the measure is still undergoing a comment period. China has responded with two rounds of tariffs, both of which are also at the proposal stage.
“Then Trump is going to say we’re going to stop even more tariffs on you. That tit-for-tat situation is not good for either country, but it’s much worse for China because China really does need access to America’s markets to continue to grow,” Moore said.
The ideal outcome would be for both countries to come together and negotiate a trade deal, Moore said, but added that many Americans are ready to take a short-term economic blow since they back Trump’s strategy for dealing with China.
“I think a lot of Americans including myself are very much supportive of what Donald Trump is doing,” Moore said. “I think that Beijing may be underestimating how committed Americans are to getting a better deal with China. And so I hope that the experts and the trade representatives in Beijing understand that more tariffs on American goods is going to deteriorate the situation, not strengthen Beijing’s hand.”
Trump described the trade war with China as something that has been going on for decades with America losing badly. The president is concerned with the burgeoning trade deficit as well as the barriers American businesses face in bringing their goods to the Chinese market. In imposing the tariffs, Trump also cited intellectual property theft by Chinese companies.
“The Trump administration, they believe that we cannot live with a situation where there’s not full compensation for American intellectual property, that there’s also a big concern that China is using non-tariff trade barriers to keep out American goods. So it’s not a level playing field,” Moore said. “And I think Trump also believes that China does have more to lose here than the United States. China really does depend on access to America’s 10 trillion dollar consumer market to be able to sell its goods and services.”
From The Epoch Times