The United States and China were unable to reach a deal last week and doubled down on their trade war. U.S. President Donald Trump escalated tariffs already in place and threatened to impose them on all Chinese exports to his country. Beijing promised countermeasures. Both sides have misjudged the appetite of the other for a conflict and it is a virtual certainty that the situation will get worse before it gets better.

Trump is convinced that U.S. trade partners exploit American largesse and naivete to steal jobs and intellectual property. Many economists and business professionals agree. He is virtually alone, however, in the conviction that trade wars and tariffs are effective ways to level the playing field. He has been quick to use both against countries he believes are unfair traders — China, which sells over $500 billion of goods to the U.S. every year, among them.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.