While China has impose retaliatory tariffs on American goods in response to Trump's tariffs on Chinese goods, China has also reduced tariffs on goods imported from all other countries according to new research.
China has increased tariffs on American goods from 8 to 20.7 percent in most cases, but they've reduced tariffs on goods imported from all other countries from 8 to 6.7 percent according to the Peterson Institute for International Economics.
Beijing has put American firms at a "considerable" disadvantage at a time when U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly used tariffs as a way to negotiate with other countries, PIIE said.
"China has begun rolling out the red carpet for the rest of the world. Everyone else is enjoying much improved access to China's 1.4 billion consumers," the think tank said in a June 12 report.
"Trump's provocations and China's two-pronged response mean American companies and workers now are at a considerable cost disadvantage relative to both Chinese firms and firms in third countries," said researchers, who include notable trade expert Chad P. Bown.
What this means is that if Trump's trade war ended tomorrow -- if China rolled back tariffs on American goods to where they were at before this all started -- American companies and workers would still be at a disadvantage because tariffs on all other countries have been reduced below previous levels.
One of the greatest risks of Trump's trade war is not just the temporary cost of paying more for tennis shoes or t-shirts; it's long-term damage stemming from the loss of access to the Chinese market. Trump may have put American companies on a path toward permanent disadvantage.
We've gained nothing from the trade war but we've potentially lost a great deal that could be clearly evident long after Trump is gone.