US-China trade war update


Get the latest in the ongoing US-China trade war from the editorial team with deep contacts on both sides. Each week political economy journalist Finbarr Bermingham wraps the latest developments in tariffs, diplomacy and economy from reporters and editors at the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong.

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Analysing Trump, China, and trade deals now the Hong Kong Democracy Act is here

22 Nov 2019

The US Congress passes its Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, and the world waits for President Donald Trump to sign it. What does it mean? What are political insiders saying in Washington and Beijing? Hear Finbarr Bermingham unpack it all with political economy editor John Carter, Washington correspondent Owen Churchill and Beijing-based diplomacy correspondent Wendy Wu.


Hong Kong becomes a bargaining chip; a deal on chicken imports and China's looming growth crisis

15 Nov 2019

A US$50 billion deal for China to buy American chicken was announced this week, but the big news is how the situation in Hong Kong is now part of trade deal negotiations. Cissy Zhou analyses talk of unpegging the Hong Kong currency from the US dollar, while US correspondent Owen Churchill looks at how Hong Kong's ongoing unrest is affecting Washington's approach to China.  


What a phased tariff withdrawal means, does China 'play' Trump and a trade data surprise

8 Nov 2019

Questions about a Xi-Trump meeting were buried by news of a 'phased tariff withdrawal' – but what does that mean? We've also got two interviews with veteran negotiators for the US and China: reporter Yujing Liu calls in from Shenzhen after her interview with former Chinese trade envoy Long Yongtu. He tells us why he loves dealing with Trump, and hopes for a Trump 2020 victory. We also speak to Professor Larry Summers, a senior economist and veteran of the Clinton and Obama administrations, who reveals a few frank admissions on US trade policy.


Trump's deal hijacked, a chill in Sino-US relations in Washington, another bad data day for China

1 Nov 2019

This week’s podcast comes out at Halloween and may feature one or two shockingly dreadful puns. But these are moments of levity amid some serious news for the resolution of the trade war, with protest-hit Chile announcing a cancellation of the APEC summit, in which Donald Trump and Xi Jinping were to meet and sign off on ‘phase one’ of a trade deal.


Zhou Xin unpacks what his sources in Beijing are saying about the surprise cancellation of the summit, the speculation about Macau being a potential new location, and this week's Fourth Plenum planning meeting for China's Communist Party in Beijing.

John Carter parses the latest economic data, analysing the new outlook for China's manufacturers. The purchasing managers' index has fallen for six months in a row showing the full impact of 16 months of tariffs.

Rob Delaney reports on the vibe he's picking up from the Washington policy making and business communities, as it looks as if a 'phase one' deal between the US and China is growing close.

Have American manufacturers simply moved on? Are they still interested in trying to do business in China? There's another factor increasingly fuelling the sentiment of US attitudes towards China, too: the coming election season.


Deal or no deal, China’s record GDP slump and a return to ‘Made in Hong Kong’

18 Oct 2019

US-China trade war update looks at what has really changed between the two countries since the handshakes and photos in Washington last week, and the major concerns for Beijing ahead. Also hear reports from the front line of the trade war for electronics manufacturing.


How NBA, Xinjiang and Hong Kong are affecting US-China trade talks

11 Oct 2019

We unpack a turbulent week in US-China relations, as trade negotiations commence, with the threat of increased tariffs on the horizon and a list of US companies China might retaliate against if a deal is not reached.


California is ‘Ground Zero’ for US-China relations; Vietnam hurting Chinese-free trade zones

4 Oct 2019

Author Matt Sheehan talks about how the trade war is part of a much deeper change in US-China relations, while field reporter He Huifeng reveals the Chinese industrial park on the Vietnamese border is suffering from the exodus of companies from China. (Image courtesy Harry Harrison)


Behind China's cancelled midwest farm trip, Trump's UN trade tirade, and the changing mood of trade talks

27 Sep 2019

Analysing the politics of Chinese officials visiting farms in Montana and Nebraska, and Trump’s attack on China at the UN General Assembly


China’s man in Washington, talk of ‘Cold War’ in Hong Kong, Pillsbury talks ‘consequences’ for no deal

20 Sep 2019

What it’s means for Beijing’s advance negotiator to visit US farms and analysing comments about a ‘Cold War’ and its ‘consequences’ from Trump’s ‘China expert’ during his visit to Hong Kong for the American Chamber of Commerce.


Analysing Trump's anniversary gift, and how China’s food security drives its negotiations

13 Sep 2019

Analysing Trump's tariff surprise and the importance of October 1 for China; how China's food security concerns are influencing its approach to trade war talks and a tale of two Chinese factories being hit hard by tariffs.


The ‘struggle’ is real: analysing China's pork crisis, Xi's speech and new trade talks

6 Sep 2019

Analysing Xi Jinping’s recent ‘struggle’ speech and the announcement of trade negotiations between the US and China to commence two days later; how the combination of African swine fever and tariffs on US imports are creating a sense of crisis for the world’s largest consumer of pork


Tit for tat tariffs, tweets and a phantom telephone call

30 Aug 2019

Analysing how Beijing will respond to Trump labelling Xi Jinping an ‘enemy’, and studying what announcements China will make in the next week