“we’ll fight to the end”

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Trump spoke in France this morning where he said he would make a decision on whether or not to impose tariffs on an additional $300 billion in Chinese goods after meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G-20 summit later this month, but we've seen no sign that Jinping is going to cave to Trump's demands.

Responding to Trump's latest threat to impose more tariffs, Chinese officials more or less told him to bring it.

In Beijing, China’s Commerce Ministry struck a defiant tone.

If the United States wilfully decides to escalate tensions, we’ll fight to the end,” ministry spokesman Gao Feng told a regular news briefing.

China does not want to fight a trade war, but also is not afraid of one. If the United States wilfully decides to escalate trade tensions, we’ll adopt necessary countermeasures and resolutely safeguard the interests of China and its people.”

Do these seem like the words of a government that's going to bend over and take whatever Trump gives them?

I'm fairly confident that if Trump does not impose more tariffs later this month, it will be because he backed away from some of his demands, not because the Chinese gave him exactly what he wants.

To even say that feels like a misnomer because Trump's demands are poorly-defined at best and they seem to change from month to month if not week to week. It will be Trump's emotional whims that determine if he blows up the supply chains of the largest companies in the world, not careful consideration of the macroeconomics of global trade.

  • Draxiar

    There’s now way trump comes out of this looking good. China’s not happy, the EU isn’t happy, major companies aren’t happy, the wealthy aren’t happy, the GOP isn’t happy with this trade war to pump up trump’s tiny…hands.

    • And the odds of any Republicans doing anything are close to zero.

  • muselet

    Donald Trump doesn’t really know what he wants from China. All he knows is that he wants a win! he can crow about at campaign events.

    Unfortunately, Trump sees the world as zero-sum. If he gets a win!, then China has to lose! in a way that lets Trump gloat more than a bit. China will not put up with that.

    If Trump does torpedo the world economy, it will be in exchange for some extra-loud cheers at his Nuremberg rallies, and he will see that as a reasonable trade-off.


    • Nefercat

      “If he gets a win!, then China has to lose! ”
      This is what makes him such a terrible and horrifying “negotiator.”