In Brief

Donald Trump prepares to sanction China as trade war escalates

Conflict between world’s two biggest economies coming to the boil, with ‘potentially disastrous’ consequences

Simmering tensions between the US and China over trade could come to the boil this week if Donald Trump imposes sanctions, leading to a “potentially disastrous trade conflict”, warns The Daily Telegraph.

Two inquiries by the US Commerce Department, due to report to the White House this week, could open the door for punitive measures against Chinese steel and aluminium shipments. A separate probe into intellectual property theft and cyber-espionage is due to report on Thursday.

Trump repeatedly attacked China’s economic record and tactics during his presidential campaign. He vowed to impose 45% import tariffs on Chinese goods as part of his America First policy for reviving US businesses.

Since taking office, Trump has softened his position remarkably. But while global asset markets have largely discounted the threat of a serious clash between the world’s two economic superpowers, “they may have misread the political runes in Washington, underestimating lag-times as the complex machinery of the US government slowly shifts direction like a turning supertanker,” says the Telegraph.

Trump’s hawkish trade strategist, Robert Lighthizer, met the President over the weekend before accusing China of predatory behaviour and use of abusive state subsidies.

“Years of talking about these problems [have] not worked. So, expect change, and expect action,” he told reporters.

However, a series of stories from Beijing in recent weeks suggest China is not going to take the threat lying down. Sanctions against the likes of Boeing and soybeans are a likely first step in a trade dispute that could quickly spiral into all-out war.

Recommended

The pros and cons of legal prostitution
Women hold a banner calling for a law to criminalise prostitution
In Depth

The pros and cons of legal prostitution

Staff shortages: the battle for labour
Amazon: generous sign-up bonuses
The latest on . . .

Staff shortages: the battle for labour

Sudan ‘on the brink’ as army and civilian divisions deepen
Sudanese protestors on the streets of Khartoum
In Depth

Sudan ‘on the brink’ as army and civilian divisions deepen

Trading bitcoin: what the experts think
Bitcoin
Expert’s view

Trading bitcoin: what the experts think

Popular articles

Why does the UK have highest Covid case rate in western Europe?
England lockdown lifted
Today’s big question

Why does the UK have highest Covid case rate in western Europe?

Insulate Britain: what do they want?
Insulate Britain protesters
Profile

Insulate Britain: what do they want?

The tally of Covid-19 vaccine deaths examined
Boy receiving Covid vaccine
Getting to grips with . . .

The tally of Covid-19 vaccine deaths examined

The Week Footer Banner