President-elect Donald Trump promised during his campaign that the United States of America would “win” against China in trade, indicating that the deals which had been previously negotiated were in China’s favor. One policy Trump is expected to attempt to enact is a tariff, which is essentially a tax, on Chinese goods which are imported inside America’s borders. Trump says he will impose this tariff, to the tune of 45%, just to stick it to the Chinese. However, China’s duty trade representative, Zhang Xiangchen, says Trump’s policy is reckless, and outright stupid. Xiangchen says Trump’s policy would hurt American workers, and beyond that point he wouldn’t be able to enact the tariff anyway as that is not something which a president can do unilaterally.
The rules of trade are set by the World Trade Organization, not the United States of America. To have the World Trade Organization change trading practices, costs, and tariffs would require Trump and his newly formed government to go to the organization and to make a case as to why they should follow his recommendations. Even if the World Trade Organization were to comply with Trump’s wishes, China would be able and quite capable of retaliating in a variety of ways.
For example, China has near total control on certain minerals which are required to make electronic devices which Americans rely so heavily upon. What happens when the Chinese government forbids those minerals to be sent to American borders? What happens if China kicks companies like Apple out and sends them elsewhere?
Will Trump start a trade war? Watch below: