Trump and his China trade hawks must beware of paranoia
US president Donald Trump and his team of hawks are plotting to contain China. This includes meddling in the South China Sea, limiting Chinese student and scholar visas, restricting Chinese investment and embarking on a trade war.
A key question is whether a trade deficit is really a bad thing for US national interests. The budget deficit has been around US$660 billion and is increasing. Trump himself has increased both budget spending and military expenditure significantly. So, even if the US economy grows at a higher rate, the budget deficit will not improve significantly. Without the trade deficit, the US will definitely suffer higher inflation.
Trump said it’s easy to win a trade war with China, as he imposed new tariffs in March. But China recently announced sweeping unilateral tariff cuts on consumer imports from July 1, in keeping with its pledge to trade partners including the US. How does the US feel about this win?
When a country (USA) is losing many billions of dollars on trade with virtually every country it does business with, trade wars are good, and easy to win. Example, when we are down $100 billion with a certain country and they get cute, don’t trade anymore-we win big. It’s easy!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 2, 2018
Along with all the benefits the US gets from China, comes the one disadvantage – it also makes China rich and more powerful. China says this is a win-win situation and has no animosity towards the US as long as the US leaves China alone.
A poll in China about what citizens think about Americans, or among Americans who live in China on the attitudes of Chinese towards them, would reveal this is to be true. But many Trump aides feel threatened by China and are paranoid about it.
Trump’s former national security adviser Steve Bannon and current trade adviser Pete Navarro are prominent “yellow peril” proponents. Bannon claims Iran, Turkey and China will form a new axis. Noticeably, like Trump, Bannon doesn’t include Russia among the US’ enemies. Bannon has even criticised Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin for his attempt to call a truce over the brewing trade war with China.
Don’t let the US be hijacked by the likes of the paranoid Bannon and alt-rights.
John Xie, Zhengzhou