At least Trump didn’t ban all Chinese students — trade war, day 89 | Politics News | SupChina

At least Trump didn’t ban all Chinese students — trade war, day 89

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Within the past 10 days, U.S.-China relations have been shaken, repeatedly and violently. As we have noted repeatedly in recent weeks, the trade war is just one part of a growing confrontation between the two countries. It is tough to keep track, as it is all happening so fast, but it is hard not to describe this as a downward spiral:

  • The amount of tariffs more than tripled on September 24 (Access paywall), and tentative trade talks were scorched.
  • China accused the U.S. of “trade bullyism” in an extensive government white paper, and said it refuses to negotiate while the U.S. holds a “knife to the throat.”
  • Trump accused China of election interference, but provided no evidence of a covert campaign.
  • Trump said he “may not be” friends with Xí Jìnpíng 习近平 anymore — although the Chinese leader never said they were friends in the first place.
  • China canceled a diplomatic and security dialogue with the U.S., likely due to a variety of factors, as we wrote on Access yesterday (paywall).

Today brings two big stories, of a further bump to U.S.-China relations, and a previously unreported way in which the relationship was nearly totally derailed earlier this year:

Back to trade, the U.S. just signed a rebranded North American Free Trade Agreement, and it takes aim at China. SCMP reports:

A special clause in the new US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement would give Washington a near-veto over any attempt by Canada or Mexico to agree to a free-trade deal with a ‘non-market economy’, in what analysts have said is a major threat to China’s position in the global trading system.

Meanwhile, Patrick Chovanec, the managing director of Silvercrest Asset Management and a longtime China watcher, writes on Twitter that the worst impacts of tariffs are yet to come, but coming soon:

The broader China tariffs that affect either consumer goods, or goods of any kind that don’t have a ready replacement, are only just now starting to come into effect…
I think the gap between extremely assertive tariff rhetoric or much slowing tariff implementation (so far) has lulled us into a false sense of complacency about the potential impact of tariffs on the US economy.

More trade war and U.S.-China relations news:


Previously in SupChina’s trade war coverage:

Trump official Matt Pottinger quotes Confucius, in Chinese, to make point about language and truth

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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.

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