China Signals Negotiations With Retaliation In Name Only

Far too often international relations are filtered through the prism of diplomatic relations instead of through domestic propaganda. In the case of trade, one of the more remarkable strengths of President Trump that goes almost wholly ignored by his critics, is that he goes out of his way to explain the enemies of the American people are America's "elites," not foreign powers (it would mess up the narrative of calling him a racist xenophobe). China along with other trading powers did very well thanks to several factors, among them free trade ideology divorced from reality, development theory from World War II (helping Japan and Germany recover to strengthen them against communism became strengthen China and then ??? and then democracy) and Wall Street's capture of the Treasury and State Department to the detriment of manufacturing and domestic labor (free movement of capital overseas along with mass immigration of unskilled labor). In this case, the shift in trade policy in the United States is far more, if not nearly entirely, about realigning domestic economic and political power. With respect to foreign nations, it is about solving the negative effects caused by the U.S. dollar's reserve currency status, a topic that is still off the table for now.

China's response indicates it doesn't see a trade war brewing, yet.

CNBC: China responds to Trump tariffs with proposed list of 128 US products to target
China's commerce ministry proposed a list of 128 U.S. products as potential retaliation targets, according to a statement on its website posted Friday morning.

The U.S. goods, which had an import value of $3 billion in 2017, include wine, fresh fruit, dried fruit and nuts, steel pipes, modified ethanol, and ginseng, the ministry said. Those products could see a 15 percent duty, while a 25 percent tariff could be imposed on U.S. pork and recycled aluminium goods, according to the statement.
Some of those goods may see no dent in sales because they tend towards the luxury end of the consumer spectrum. It's possible sales could increase for that reason. Overall though, this is not retaliation at all, but propaganda for the domestic audience. China hasn't escalated with retaliation. The takeaway: negotiations are ongoing.

Full list of goods (in Chinese) at iFeng: 中国反击:拟对美国约30亿美元产品加征关税(附清单)

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