The real question about the U.S.-China trade war is how long it will last and which country will blink first, according to West Virginia University associate professor of political science Christina Fattore. President Trump’s assessment of the World Trade Organization as weak is driving his use of higher tariffs, which could drive up costs for businesses, and eventually, consumers, Fattore said.
“Consider how this will also hurt the average American: through jobs. Farmers, specifically soybean farmers, will be feeling the effects of this trade war. Twenty percent of US exports to China are agricultural products. Tariffs usually mean higher prices for consumers, but in this case, many experts are expecting the Chinese government to subsidize prices to placate consumers. Also, China is expected to start importing more soybeans from Brazil as another form of retaliation against US tariffs.
“The Trump administration chose not to target goods that American consumers typically purchase from China, which again, should make consumers happy. However, the products that will be taxed heavily are those used by many industries. Higher prices for chemicals and industrial parts and machines could result in Americans losing their jobs as corporations try to cut costs during this crunch. Considering the administration’s “America First” platform of bringing jobs back to the US, this could quite possibly backfire horribly. While consumer prices may not be affected at this stage, trade is a game of tit-for-tat. If one country threatens another with tariffs, you can be sure that the other country will ramp up tensions through reciprocal restrictions and so on.”
Contact information: Christina.Fatorre@mail.wvu.edu
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