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.