Sep 02, 2019 - 2:00pm

The New York Times Gets It Right on Trade

A RECENT ARTICLE IN THE NEW YORK TIMES PROVIDES A FAIR ASSESSMENT ON THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION’S ESCALATION OF TRADE TENSIONS WITH CHINA.

 

At the New York Times, reporter Anna Swanson provides a fair assessment of the Trump Administration’s renewed tariff war with China, and its effect on global markets.

After a series of missteps and misunderstandings, the United States and China appear to be nowhere close to a trade agreement at a time when trade barriers remain in place with other American partners. Mr. Trump’s rewrite of the North American Free Trade Agreement is still stalled in Congress, awaiting the support of Democrats. His threat of auto tariffs has not yet persuaded Japan or Europe to sign a trade deals with the United States, as he intended. And the European Union, India, China, Turkey and others have responded to Mr. Trump’s aggressive trade tactics by putting their own retaliatory tariffs on American products.

If the president’s newly threatened tariffs go into effect, the United States will have imposed levies on all of the goods it imports from China, which totaled $539.7 billion last year.

[ . . . ]

The president and his advisers insist the strategy is necessary to take on China’s long record of unfair trade practices, but the tariffs are taking a toll.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index fell 1.3 percent on Friday, and the Dow Jones industrial average dipped 0.4 percent. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.85 percent, its lowest level since 2016, in a sign of economic pessimism.

Myron Brilliant, executive vice president and head of international affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said that the president’s additional tariffs “will only inflict greater pain on American businesses, farmers, workers and consumers, and undermine an otherwise strong U.S. economy.”

“We are deeply disappointed that the two sides missed the opportunity in May to address the substantive disagreements between them and have not yet reached a comprehensive, enforceable agreement,” Mr. Brilliant said.

China has vowed to retaliate against American actions, but it remains unclear how exactly it would respond. Because many more goods flow from China to the United States than the other direction, China has not been willing or able to match Mr. Trump’s tariffs dollar for dollar.

Read the full article at nytimes.com