U.S. plans next trade skirmish with China | Business News | SupChina
Free

We're a new type of news publication

China news you won't read elsewhere.

Weekly Newsletter

Get a roundup of the most important and interesting stories coming out of China.

Podcasts

Sinica, TechBuzz China, and our 6 other shows are the undisputed champs of China podcasts. Listen now.

Feature Articles

Interactive, web-based deep dives into the real China.

Premium

Join the thousands of executives, diplomats, and journalists that rely on SupChina for daily analysis of the full China story.

Daily Newsletter

All the news, every day. Premium analysis directly from our Editor-in-Chief Jeremy Goldkorn.

24/7 Slack Community

Have China-related questions and want answers? Our Slack community is a place to learn, network, and opine.

Free Live Events & More

Monthly live conference calls with leading experts, free entry to SupChina live events in cities around the world, and more.

"A jewel in the crown of China reporting. I go to it, look for it daily. Why? It adds so much insight into the real China. Essential news, culture, color. I find SupChina superior."
— Max Baucus, former U.S. Ambassador to China

Free

We're a new type of news publication

China news you won't read elsewhere.

Weekly Newsletter

Get a roundup of the most important and interesting stories coming out of China.

Podcasts

Sinica, TechBuzz China, and our 6 other shows are the undisputed champs of China podcasts. Listen now.

Feature Articles

Interactive, web-based deep dives into the real China.

OR… for more in-depth analysis and an online community of China-focused professionals:

Learn About Premium Access Now!
Learn More
Minimize
Learn More
Minimize

U.S. plans next trade skirmish with China

Part of the daily SupChina newsletter. Subscribe for free

On January 22, the Trump administration slapped substantial tariffs on imported solar panels and washing machines, with China as the primary target. Likely in retaliation — though this was not made explicit — on February 5, China began investigating American exports of sorghum, a grain that is a primary ingredient for the popular Chinese liquor baijiu.

Neither move is large enough to be properly called the start of a “trade war,” but they are likely the first of several moderate actions that the two countries will take to address what both sides see as unfair bilateral trade practices.

Here’s how American businesses and politicians are deliberating the next steps in the skirmish:

  • Two Republican senators want to blacklist Huawei from government contracts, further isolating the smartphone and network equipment maker that already saw a deal with AT&T fall apart a month ago under political pressure, Reuters reports.
  • “Huawei is effectively an arm of the Chinese government,” Tom Cotton of Arkansas argued. The legislation he introduced together with Marco Rubio of Florida proposed blocking both Huawei and its competitor ZTE from selling or leasing equipment to the U.S. government.
  • Other legislation is being softened, however, as industry lobbyists work to prevent commercial sales of too broad a definition from becoming ensnared in Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) review, according to Reuters.
  • Big U.S. companies worry about loss of sales if the legislation to expand CFIUS, led by John Cornyn in the Senate and Robert Pittenger in the House, does not clearly define which technologies need to be reviewed, or expands the caseload to the point that the CFIUS review is prohibitively slow.
  • Meanwhile, the American aluminum foil industry awaits a final verdict from the U.S. International Trade Commission, as industry players argue that Chinese imports have decimated their business, Bloomberg says. If the commission rules in their favor, import duties on Chinese aluminum foil of up to 162 percent could become permanent.

Share
Lucas Niewenhuis

Lucas Niewenhuis is an associate editor at SupChina who helps curate daily news and produce the company's newsletter, app, and website content. Previously, Lucas researched China-Africa relations at the Social Science Research Council and interned at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. He has studied Chinese language and culture in Shanghai and Beijing, and is a graduate of the University of Michigan.