Donald Trump stands at a podium during a recent speech in the US

The world’s most dull-sounding war may have just begun

Tariffs, not tanks, are Trump's weapon of choice against China – and they're fighting back

Donald Trump’s 25 per cent tariff on Chinese goods comes into play today, and China’s fighting back – slowly, but surely. Could it be ‘trade war’?

What it means: A few weeks ago, Trump threatened to put a tax on Chinese steel and aluminium that would push up its price for American consumers, hopefully incentivising them to buy American steel instead and p*ssing off the Chinese in the process. China didn’t seem to mind that much, saying they could just sell steel somewhere else.

Now, it’s doing that thing where it sloooowly, caaaalmly, starts moving its chess pieces to a point where it’s making it clear that it’s got power to retaliate, but wishes it didn’t have to, so maybe don’t push its buttons anymore, ‘mkay?

China makes $375bn more than America from their trade deals right now (what's known as a 'trade deficit'). This is Trump’s way of getting his money back. China has said it may add its own tariffs to American goods imported into China, specifically targeting the ones that come from states where Trump supporters live – that’s farm states producing things like wine, apples, and ethanol.

The finance world seems pretty worried about the prospect of a ‘trade war’, where countries use economic ‘weapons’ like extra taxes and even sanctions (where you refuse to buy anything from that country at all) to punish their opponents for their politics. It’s not reached that point yet, but if they don’t sort it out, it’ll be Chinese and American consumers paying the price.

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Reader Comments

  • RW

    Your right to a degree. You mentioned “the wandering Jew”.

    I elaborate that the Jewish people, historically have tended to migrate almost exclusively to locations that are economically and culturally vibrant already. I would speculate that Jews have thrived in these places and have often improved the bounds of their economies and knowledge base.

    You can also ask; how many massive entertainment conglomerates, Nobel winners or billionaires has Isreal developed? If Jews are so capable, why isn’t Tel Aviv the Rome of our time?

    Jews are successful because they value education, maintain a strong social cohesive, they actively monitor and have a good sense for Zeitgeist wherever they are and they carefully choose the places they settle and congregate themselves heavily in these choice locations.

    But most importantly (haulocaust increased the importance of this aspect), they actually designed their culture for success. They not only attend Harvard, they use what they learned to better the group as a whole. With as much, they studied intricate networking systems, adapted to it and in many cases improved upon them. (See how Japan acquired Aegis warships and made them better).

    Of course there is nothing wrong with any of this. It’s when you elaborately gain disproportionate power in any society where you would stand out, you must take care when attempting to make a society better (Civil Rights movement) and rewriting that society all together (mass immigration). Ask blacks in China, Mexico, Philippines or India how much opportunity they have? Go to businesses owned by their American diaspora and see how many blacks they hire. Go to Silicon Valley and see how many East or South Asian tech workers wish they could work with more black people. California might work as a state, but as a nation, I think your rolling the nuclear dice here. I hope we can succeed as a tolerant pluralistic superpower but at this stage in human societal development, it’s a pipe dream.

    And if Jews really are the icon for success, they would see that fundamental human successes happen over generations. Just look at the rest of the planet? Are we ready?