And so it begins.
As Trump’s America becomes an imminent reality, the rest of the world has begun girding its loins. Perhaps most acutely aware of the potential repercussions of the new administration is China, a nation that repeatedly found itself the subject of Trump’s campaign speeches. And now, China is taking a stance. In a piece published Monday by the state-run Global Times, the newspaper said that the new U.S. president would be “naive” to engage in a trade war with China.
“To impose a 45-percent tariff on imports from China is merely campaign rhetoric,” the newspaper said, referencing a campaign promise Trump made. “The greatest authority a U.S. president has is to impose tariffs of up to 15 percent for 150 days on all imported goods and the limit can only be broken on the condition that the country is declared to be in a state of emergency. Other than that, a U.S. president can only demand a tariff increase on individual commodities,” the Global Times added.
The newspaper also hinted at retaliation, noting that the nation would take a “tit-for-tat approach.” Indeed, China might just hit the U.S. where it hurts — in the electronics industry. “iPhone sales in China will suffer a setback,” the Global Times said, not to mention a number of other effects negative for the U.S. For example, the state-owned publication noted, “A batch of Boeing orders will be replaced by Airbus. U.S. soybean and maize imports will be halted. China can also limit the number of Chinese students studying in the U.S.”
Ultimately, however, it would appear that the Global Times has deemed Trump’s bark to be worse than his bite. “Trump as a shrewd businessman will not be so naive,” the recent article reads. “None of the previous presidents were bold enough to launch an all-out trade war against China. They all opted for a cautious line since it’s most consistent with the overall interests of the U.S., and it’s most acceptable to U.S. society.”