The American political class has finally developed a bipartisan policy: to denounce China. After three years of fulmination, harmful tariffs, and costly Chinese retaliation, the Trump administration announced that China will buy more products, although no one is sure how the commitments with Chinese reservations will work. Each page can rely on its own statistics. China also agreed to improve policies in a number of other areas that are in its interest, albeit with many gaps. In return, the United States will withhold more self-destructive taxes on imports for at least a while. This package is “Phase One”. “Phase Two” is, well … will come later.
What is the result of Donald Trump’s deal making? According to Chad Bown of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, Trump’s tariffs will still cover almost two-thirds of all U.S. imports from China, with an average rate of 19.3 percent versus 3.0 percent previously. Most Chinese goods are intermediate products, so Trump’s taxes only increase costs for American producers. China’s retaliation tariffs target nearly 57 percent of U.S. exports, with an average tariff of 20.5 percent versus 8 percent before Trump. Unlike the United States, China has lowered tariffs and trade barriers to the rest of the world.
This deal claims to be a China policy. As Evan Feigenbaum of the Carnegie Endowment first emphasized, the United States has an attitude towards China, not a policy. America wasted time, wasted international capital, and had no real results.
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