Even by Donald Trump’s standards his Twitter rant attacking China on Friday was extraordinary. In a series of outbursts Trump “hereby ordered” US companies to stop doing business with China, accused the country of killing 100,000 Americans a year with imported fentanyl and stealing hundred of billions in intellectual property.To get more chinese news on line, you can visit shine news official website.
The attack marked a new low in Sino-US relations and looks certain to escalate a trade war already worrying investors, manufacturers and economists who are concerned that the dispute between the two economic superpowers could trigger a recession.
Not so long ago Trump called China’s president, Xi Jinping, “a good friend”. Now he is an “enemy”. How did we get here?On the campaign trail Trump railed against China accusing it of pulling off “one of the greatest thefts in the history of the world” and “raping” the US economy.
Trump repeated the word China so often it spawned a viral video of him saying it over and over again. The attacks were a hit with voters and helped get him elected. He has continued lambasting China – to cheers – at rallies ever since.The US imported a record $539.5bn in goods from China in 2018 and sold the Chinese $120.3bn in return. The difference between those two numbers – $419.2bn – is the trade deficit.
That deficit has been growing for years as manufacturing has shifted to low-cost China and, according to Trump, it explains the hollowing out of US manufacturing.
For Trump, and especially for his adviser Peter Navarro, who once described China as “the planet’s most efficient assassin”, trade deficits represent an existential threat to US jobs and national security. China makes up the largest part of the US trade deficit but those fears are also behind his disputes with the EU, Canada and Mexico.
His detractors argue these deficit worries are hyperbole and a result of the US’s stronger economy, which allows consumers to buy goods at cheaper prices.The truth is probably somewhere in between.
While it’s true that unemployment is at record lows and consumers continue to prop up the economy, manufacturing jobs have been lost (automation is also to blame for this) and with them wage growth (although the hollowing out of unions plays a part here).China has a deserved reputation for intellectual property theft. On Friday, Trump estimated China robs the US of “hundreds of billions” a year in ideas.
In March, a CNBC poll found one in five US corporations had intellectual property stolen from them within the last year by China.
According to the Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property, the theft costs $600bn a year.