Trade war, day 82: China establishes hard Party line opposing U.S. tariffs and ‘trade bullyism’


In case you’re living under a rock — or haven’t signed up for SupChina Access yet, and didn’t receive our last two updates (1, 2) — here’s the current status of the U.S.-China trade war:

  • As of yesterday, about $360 billion worth of goods normally traded between the two countries are subject to tariffs, ranging from a 5 percent tax at the low end of China’s side to 25 percent at the high end on both sides. American tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods are set to rise from 10 percent to 25 percent at the end of the year.
  • The Economist estimates that “at least 44 percent” of Chinese goods being imported into America are now subject to levies (porous paywall).
  • The latest trade negotiations fell apart before they began, and now China is reiterating that it refuses to negotiate while the U.S. holds a “knife to the throat,” Al Jazeera reports.

The most important update to note since yesterday is that the Chinese government’s new white paper on the trade war, “The Facts and China’s Position on China-US Trade Friction,” was republished in its 36,000-Chinese-character entirety in the Communist Party’s official newspaper, the People’s Daily.

As Bloomberg reporter Peter Martin notes, this newspaper “plays a crucial role in internal party communication,” and “reprinting it signals that this is the party’s line on the trade war and that cadres should understand it and stick to it.”

You can read the whole white paper in English or in Chinese. In English, it is a dense, 71-page Word document with section titles such as “Mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation between China and the US in trade and economy” and “The trade bullyism practices of the US administration.”

More trade war and related reporting:

Previously in SupChina’s trade war coverage:

Trade war, day 77: September 24 escalation forebodes a long and bloody conflict