As of today, the US has greatly increased the trade pressure on China, thanks to increased tariffs on thousands of Chinese goods from 10% to 25%. Even though trade talks were pending and supposed to resume this morning, the White House stuck to its midnight deadline to increase tariffs. Naturally, China promised to retaliate almost immediately, which has understandably sparked some warranted fears regarding a trade war between the two nations and what impact that war could have on the global economy. Countermeasures from the Chinese government will likely have an effect soon.
Today, all eyes will be watching the stock market to see what kind of impact the increased tariffs on Chinese goods will have. Right after 0500 GMT, China’s primary index, Shanghai Composite, was up 1.5%. China’s main currency, the yuan, was up as well, so as of now it seems that any impact has been minimal, though it could just be because China hasn’t followed through with their threat to retaliate just yet.
The new US imposed tariffs will affect around six thousand Chinese products, from fresh and frozen food to metalwork and even chemical and building materials. However, the massive 10-25% increase will only affect goods leaving China after the deadline has expired. Due to this, there will be an unofficial window of opportunity in which the two sides could still come to a reach a different agreement and deal that might be more beneficial for both parties involved.
It is understandable why people would be concerned over the rising tension between the two countries. The United States and China are both major players in the global economy, supplying tens of thousands of goods and services across the world to dozens of different countries. If there ends up being a massive rift between the two, it could divide the global economy into each country and its economic allies, which would obviously bar many countries from getting goods from one country or the other.
While that is only speculation, it is a likely possibility. An even more likely scenario is that China simply increases tariffs on American goods in kind. What this will mean for the American people is an obvious increase in the prices of Chinese imported goods, but it could also affect many companies that ship their products to China as well. Only time will tell if that will occur, or if the politicians will come to a new arrangement before the unofficial deadline mentioned previously.
Either way, one can only wonder if increasing tension between two of the world’ strongest economic powers was a good idea, or if it was even necessary at all. Chances are the common people won’t ever be informed of that, so we’re stuck wondering if there will be any truly noticeable benefits to the new economic situation with a country that is one of our primary trade partners. Time will tell if and how relations will improve or worsen following this new development.