Escalation of Trade Wars and Competitiveness for Technology between the United States and China - Essay Prowess

Escalation of Trade Wars and Competitiveness for Technology between the United States and China

Escalation of Trade Wars and Competitiveness for Technology between the United States and China


Escalation of Trade Wars and Competitiveness for Technology between the United States and China

The US-China trade war was escalated by the “Made in China 2025” strategy. While China attempted to become the world’s leading technological and economic super power, the nation’s foreign trade partners were slowly eliminated from the domestic markets. Subsequently, Europe, the United States and Japan lodged a complaint to the World Trade Organization (WTO) that China was restricting free trade. The WTO, however, failed to give an amicable ruling on the matter, forcing the United States to invoke protectionism strategies against China. The United States government hoped to avert the economic growth of China since, it stood to lose its position as the world leading economic super power. The protectionism strategies of the United States involved pro-growth policies such as the “America First”, tariff increments on China’s exports and vicious claims of intellectual property theft by China’s government. Trump’s administration also withdraws the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and re-negotiates the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The United States’ 25% increase of import tariffs on China’s exports received a similar retaliatory action from China. Although the manufactures in both countries were the first to experience the economic repercussions, the global economy would also be threatened by the actions of the warring countries. Furthermore, China introduced a state-led economic model that would drive the nation to self-sufficiency by producing innovative products to meet its changing demand. The United States soon realized that its technological hub, the Silicon Valley, was on the verge of getting surpassed by Chinese technology when Huawei unveiled its 5G technology. The United States responded by banning Huawei products and claiming that China’s innovativeness was driven by intellectual property theft. Even as the rest of the world is left to pick a side in the trade war, other nations recognize the imminent implication of global economic losses.  

Escalation of Trade Wars and Competitiveness for Technology between the United States and China

The United States and China are currently entangled in a power struggle as each country attempts to prove that their economic position and technological capabilities are the most superior in the world. In 2011, the European Union, United States and Japan filed a joint complaint to the World Trade Organization against Chinese trade practices (Kumar, 2011). The Chinese government had introduced restrictions on the export of rare earth minerals overseas, forcing foreign companies to relocate to China to avoid high import tariffs on raw materials. This strategy was aimed at putting China on the path of dominating the global manufacturing market and overtaking the United States as the world largest economy. In the filed complaint, the United States criticized Chinese companies for progressively conducting intellectual property theft of American products. Nonetheless, the complaint to the World Trade Organization resulted in a defensive move from China. In 2015, the Chinese government adopted the “Made in China 2025” strategy that would transform low-cost industrial production to highly advanced innovations and make China to be a superior technological power. China targeted the information technology, robotics, biotech and clean-energy sectors with this new strategy (Jie, 2018). Inherently, the “Made in China 2025” strategy would remove foreign technological products from the Chinese market so that domestic production could be boosted. In a retaliatory move that would protect domestic manufacturers, the United States government imposed high taxes on Chinese imports. Sadly, the trade war between the two superpowers bear dire consequences for the global economy.

The move by the Chinese government to control its economy created apprehensions among European and American manufacturers since it threatened the global export markets. The Chinese trade tariffs have downplayed the economic benefits of free trade agreements (FTAs), resulting in the struggle of multinational companies in the export market. Robinson and Thierfelder (2019) warn that the trade war between the United State and China will result in increased world prices, unpredictable changes in real exchange rates, trade diversions, capital re-allocation, decreased productivity and damages on intersectoral linkages. Both China and the US introduced trade tariffs that would reduce imports by inducing an increase in real exchange rates to levy high taxes on imports. The tariffs imposed on various sectors will cause the global markets to divert trade from the warring countries and/or increase the prices of their products to thwart the high tariffs. The increase in tariffs will also reduce imports of raw materials and exports of finished goods which will, in turn, decrease the productivity of multinational companies. Companies operating in sectors that have been levied high tariffs may be forced to reallocate their investments to alternative sectors, a move that will be costly for them. Ultimately, the effects of the high trade tariffs will be replicated in all economic sectors since they are interlinked through intermediate inputs (Robinson and Thierfelder, 2019). Kumar (2019) notes that the trade war between China and the United States is, therefore, intended to “reset China’s trading relationship with the world” and avert the potentialities of China’s globalization strategies. The election of Trump into office resulted in the introduction of protectionism strategies and attacks on the Chinese technological sector. This article highlights the escalation of the trade war, the strategies adopted by the warring countries and the implications of the trade war on the global economy.  

Historical Timeline of the US-China Trade Partnership and Escalation of the Trade War

The beginning of the 21st Century indicated a positive outlook in the trade relationship between the United States and China. Both countries signed the U.S.-China Relations Act of 2000, significantly increasing the trade between them (Council on Foreign Relations, 2020). The trade partnership was highly beneficial for China which became an economic super power. Initially, the United States congratulated China for its progress and urged the country to be a responsible stakeholder. However, the partnership between both countries resulted in a threatening financial predicament when United States’ debt to China rose to disproportionate amounts. In addition to the trade imbalance between both countries, the Chinese government introduced trade restrictions that had dire consequences on their global trading partners. Beijing waged a trade war with foreign countries that greatly depended on the import of raw materials from China. The U.S. adopted a similar strategy and introduced protectionism strategies that would safeguard its domestic manufacturers from the trade war waged on by China. Currently, the US-China trade war is waged from a technological warfront as both nations attempt to assert their supremacy in wireless technology, artificial intelligence, robotics and utilization of renewable energy sources.   

US-China Trade Partnership

Since the Nixon and Reagan administrations, the U.S. and China have shared a great relationship. China’s economic ascension to globalization was boosted when it joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) and during the 2008 financial crisis. During President Clinton’s era the U.S. played a crucial role in ensuring the inclusion of China in the WTO. U.S and China signed the U.S.-China Relations Act of 2000, paving way for China to join the WTO (Council on Foreign Relations, 2020). The U.S.-China trade rose to $231 billion and China soon started to emerge as a superpower. In 2000, the U.S. recognized China as an emerging superpower and sent former Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick to engage the country in strategic talks that would solidify the relationship between both countries. The U.S. remained unchallenged as the world greatest super power till 2008 when it was hit by the global financial crisis. The economic recession experienced by the U.S. and the great debt to China came as a wake-up call to the American government which risked losing its global economic position to China. 

Emergence and Escalation of the U.S.-China Trade War

Unlike the U.S that experienced an economic depression during the global crisis period, China had a fast-growing economy that prevented it from going into economic recession. China had also become the greatest foreign creditor to the U.S. by 2008. The U.S. debt to China amounted to about $600 billion (Council on Foreign Relations, 2020). The competitiveness between the U.S. and China to dominate the global markets stiffened after the global financial crisis in 2008. Initially, the Chinese government had announced an 18% increase of their military expenditure in 2007. This intention would, therefore, call for China to elevate its position in the global economy to afford the increased military spending. Goldman Sachs released a report in 2010 warning that China would soon overtake the U.S. as the greatest economy of the world (Council on Foreign Relations, 2020). The Obama administration started to recognize that China’s spontaneous economic growth coupled with the huge debt that the country owed to the Chinese government put the U.S. at a risk of losing its global economic domination to China. In 2011, Hillary Clinton announced the government’s plans of increasing investments into the Asian-Pacific markets, hoping that this move would assert the United States’ economic power and offset the economic growth of China. Subsequently, the U.S. and 8 other nations signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal which was inherent to a multinational free trade agreement (FTA).

The Chinese government responded by increasing the export tariffs for rare earth minerals to overseas countries. This approach received the criticism of the U.S., Europe and Japan which filed a joint complaint to the WTO. The complaint was earmarked by the nations’ concern that the high tariffs imposed by the Chinese government were in violation of WTO free trade policies, for which China was subject to as a member country of the WTO. The introduction of high tariffs on metal exports forced the companies that used these raw products to relocate their plants to China. Yet, the Chinese government remained indifferent to this concern and introduced new economic policies that would bring a turnabout from the nation’s dependence on foreign manufacturers. Banking on its initial intent of creating a superior military, China waged a war against foreign manufactures hoping that the country would become independent and have increased economic power.   

The political changes that occurred in China in 2017 further fueled the trade war. The China Communist party formed the national government and introduced new economic policies that were vastly aimed at eliminating foreign technological products from the Chinese market. The new administration sought to increase domestic production and transform China into a superior technological power that surpassed the United States. The intervention of the government in China’s economy undermined its foreign trade partners who vastly depended on free trade markets (Jie, 2018). The Chinese government promoted a state-dominated economy contrary to WTO’s tenets of free trade.

Hence, China’s new strategies further increased the backlash from its international trade partners seeing they would hinder exports into the Chinese market. This put China at a greater risk of experiencing similar high trade tariffs from foreign economies to counteract the free trade restrictions. Fearing that the trade tension between the U.S. and China would result in a decline in global trade, President Obama invited the Chinese President Xi Jinping to reduce the tension between both countries. Later, when Trump was elected into the White House, he too attempted to easen the trade tensions with China by inviting President Xi for trade talks. Sadly, the import tariffs levied by the US government on aluminium and steel were left out of the bilateral trade discussions during this visit. Although both nations had previously managed to restore their diplomatic ties after political conflicts, the alleged accusation of intellectual property theft by the Chinese government escalated the trade tensions.

Technological Supremacy

The trade war between the US and China is also waged from a technological warfront as both nations attempt to gain technological supremacy in wireless services, artificial intelligence and robotics (Zhang & Ingersleben, 2020). Essentially, technological advancements are fundamental in an industrial revolution that will make either country superior over the other (Zhang & Ingersleben, 2020). In 2018, the US accused the Chinese government of technological and intellectual property theft (Council on Foreign Relations, 2020). Consequently, the US imposed high import tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese products imports (Meltzer & Shenai, 2019).The Chinese imposed retaliatory tariffs on US commodity goods such as beef, soy beans and dairy (Kumar, 2019).

The US government realized that its position as the world’s leading technological super power was threatened after China unveiled a new 5G wireless technology. Even the Silicon Valley companies were yet to make remarkable milestones in advancing this technology. Trump’s administration downplayed China’s 5G advancements by banning the products of the Chinese company that had made this historic milestone, Huawei (Kwan, 2019). The US government allegedly claimed that 5G communication posed a health risk to mobile phone users, rallying its allies to similarly ban Huawei products. During the same year, the US lobbied for the arrest of the Huawei chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, by Canadian authorities. Trump expected that the arrest of Wanzhou could be used as a bargaining chip in trade negotiations with China. While Wanzhou hearing was ongoing, Huawei filed a lawsuit against the US government for forcing its domestic companies to ban their products. The US government responded by introducing additional trade tariffs on Chinese imports. Inasmuch as Chinese imports were levied tariffs ranging from 10%, President Trump further threatened to increase the tariffs to 25% or even higher levels (see Table 1 ). Primarily, the US import tariffs targeted apparel and electronic products from China. Solar panel manufacturers in China, for instance, experienced a blowback when its lead importer of their products, the US, imposed higher import tariffs on Chinese solar cell and panel products (Wesoff, 2011).   

The US further warned that the intent of China’s government to advance its technological capabilities was solely based on a need to increase its military aggression and covert operations. Trump claimed that Huawei’s 5G technology was solely used for spying on mobile phone users. The US government warned domestic companies against using foreign telecommunication equipment since they allegedly contained spyware and were a threat to the national security (Steinbock, 2018). The approach which targeted Huawei products would later result in the removal of Huawei from Bluetooth, the WiFi Alliance and Google’s android service (Zhang & Ingersleben, 2020).  

Economic and Political strategies adopted to wage the US- China trade war

  1. China.

China’s plans of globalization were declared through the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) of 2013. China’s government sought to create a vast trade corridor with the rest of Asia, Europe and Africa through development projects (Shepard, 2020). China uses the BRI to provide economic and developmental support to the targeted foreign countries, while benefitting by gaining more markets for the exportation of its products (OECD, 2018). Conversely, Shepard (2020) argues that the BRI is as vague and incomprehensible now as it was seven years ago. The countries that are involved in the BRI deal fail to sign any charters and formal membership protocols, thereby leaving Western countries uncertain about the dynamics and economic implications of this policy. As the US distanced itself from this deal, Trump referred to it as “insulting” (Steinbock, 2018).     

In 2017, China introduced the “New Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan” that would revolutionize the sectors of robotics, computing, artificial intelligence and aerospace science. The Chinese government established three strategic plans under this policy: (i) for China’s AI “application to reach globally advanced levels” by 2020, (ii) AI driven “industrial upgrade and economic restructuring” of China by 2025; and that (iii) by 2025 China will have become a “global AI innovation center” (“Next Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan”, 2017). Fundamentally, AI would become China’s driving force towards the next industrial transformation to a highly innovative manufacturing global leader. AI is seen as a tool that will end China’s dependence on foreign technology by enhancing the production of complex technological parts. In 2017, China accounted for 47% of the global AI funding while the US accounted for 38% of this funding (Zhang & Ingersleben, 2020).   

Jie (2018) notes that the US-China was catalyzed by China’s “Made in China 2025” strategy that the government intends to use to eliminate foreign products and manufacturers that compete with domestic production. The Chinese government identified 10 industrial sectors that that would guarantee the country’s self–sufficiency by 2025 (see Figure 1). Although China defends this strategy as a move that will assert it as an innovative super power, manufacturers from the rest of the world feel threatened. This strategy involves the issuance of government subsidies to domestic manufacturers, mobilization of state-owned enterprises and the acquisition of intellectual property licenses (McBride & Chatzy, 2019). The political strategy banks on the idea that China’s industrial revolution will be enhanced through self-sufficiency and technological advancement. The “Made in China 2025” strategy would also eliminate China’s dependence on foreign products. For instance, China accounts for 60% of the global demand for semi-conductors yet the country accounts for only 13% of the global production of this product (McBride & Chatzy, 2019).  China, therefore, greatly depends on the import of these products especially from the United States. The “Made in China 2025” strategy primarily promotes high-level technological production that will meet domestic demand and provide a surplus for global exports. Nonetheless, the 2015 policy received criticism from the European Union (EU) and the United States since global manufacturers that export their products to China will lose this market.

After the US, EU and Japan filed their complaint to the WTO about China’s restriction on free trade; the Chinese government launched an alternative strategy in 2019, dubbed the industrial policy. Beijing announced an industrial upgrade plan that would target specific companies in different sectors such as Huawei Technologies, NetEase and Xiomi (Wang & Behsudi, 2019). These companies would receive the government’s support and spearhead the industrial economies of each of their respective sectors. The objective of this policy was to respond to China’s changing demand dynamic by integrating its manufacturing sector with the modern service sector (Wang & Behsudi, 2019). China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) affirmed that the government was highly motivated to provide a favorable development environment for the selected companies. This support would come in the form of financial backing and the removal of all barriers that prevented the integration of the manufacturing and service sectors. The objective of industrial integration focuses on smart factories with internet connectivity that will optimize supply chain management (Wang & Behsudi, 2019). Nonetheless, critics argued that the industrial policy merely mirrored the “Made in China 2025” strategy. Both policies were based on the same principle— increasing China’s manufacturing capability and innovative technology by 2025 (Wang & Behsudi, 2019). Moreover, the new industrial policy document outlined that the aggressive actions that had been taken by the US government to prevent China’s technological advancement would be overcome through a state-driven economic model.   

  • The United States

Before Trump’s administration, the government attempted to gain control of the Asian markets by signing the Trans- Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal. The TPP acted as a free and fair trade agreement involving the United States and 11 other nations (“Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement”, n.d.). The US hoped that this economic agreement could counter the growing influence of China over the Asian-Pacific economic region (Council on Foreign Relations, 2020). The TPP deal, however, failed to effectively address key economic and political issues. The weaknesses of the agreement included a) weaknesses of the digital policies that failed to protect the data privacy of the public, b) multi-stakeholder participation was hindered by the secrecy inherent to the agreeing countries; and c) a restrictive intellectual property (IP) chapter that left the responsibility of the protection of IPs to its own countries (“Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement”, n.d.). The third weakness of the deal was detrimental to the US after China attempted to gain US technologies and IPs to support the objectives of its “Made in China 2025” strategy. One official of the United States trade representative (USTR) warns that “A key part of China’s technology drive involves the acquisition of foreign technologies through acts, policies, and practices by the Chinese government that are unreasonable or discriminatory and burden or restrict US commerce” (Wang & Behsudi, 2019).

Nevertheless, just as the Obama administration had attempted to counteract the economic growth of China by signing the TPP deal, Trump’s administration announced the “Indo-Pacific Economic Vision” in 2019. Unlike the TPP, the “Indo-Pacific Economic Vision” had three strategic goals of enhancing internet connectivity and cyber security of its member states, the growth and development of its member states through advancements in the energy sector, and regional integration through improved infrastructures (American Chamber of Commerce, 2018). The “Indo-Pacific Economic Vision” document, however, warns that the Chinese government will use its plans of military modernization, advanced technology and fiscal growth to reorder the regional economic standpoint (He & Li, 2020). The US government is concern that China could use its economic position to coerce other Asian countries to seize trade with Western nations.   

The election of Trump into office saw the introduction of pro-growth and protectionism policies. The “America First” policy, for instance, was introduced to increase the manufacturing jobs for American citizens. This policy was vastly targeted at American companies that had set up shop overseas instead of creating more jobs domestically. This policy was followed by an increase in the tariffs on importation of raw products such as steel and aluminium, which mainly came from China. The US introduced a 25% tariff on Chinese exports, based on Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, only for China to retaliate by introducing a 25% tariff on US exports (Steinbock, 2018). The Section 301 tariffs were also targeted at America’s other major trade deficit partners including Germany, Mexico and Japan. In 2017, Trump introduced the “National Security Strategy” which labeled China as a rival to the United States since it could use its military modernization plans and its increasing economic power to coerce the Indo-Pacific region to end the economic dominance of the US.

The US also warned that the technological advancements observed in China, such as Huawei’s 5G technology, could be attributed to intellectual property theft of US. Trump formed the IP Commission which, after an investigations, revealed that China was allegedly practicing intellectual property (IP) theft of American innovations. The IP Commission noted that China had conducted intellectual property thefts amounting to $600 billion (Steinbock, 2018). The US charged China with “forced technology transfer, cyber-theft, discriminatory licensing requirements, and attempting to acquire U.S. technology” for the purpose of advancing their industrial revolution (Steinbock, 2018). Trump’s IP commission even claimed that it was also highly likely that American companies operating oversees were forced to relinquish their IP to China; yet there is little evidence to support this claim. Later, the US government claimed that China attempted to interfere with its 2018 mid-term elections (Steinbock, 2018). The findings of this commission are, however, questionable since they remain classified for national security. The question of whether the commission was purposefully set up to wage economic war on China, arguably, remains unanswered. 

Trump’s response to China’s threat of technological and economic dominance involved a review and re-negotiation of previous trade agreements that failed to protect the economic interests of the US. Keeping to the promise that he made before his election, Trump withdrew the US from the TPP deal. The government also re-negotiated the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), establishing an alternative trade deal with Mexico and Canada, the “United States Mexico Canada Agreement” (USMCA). The USMCA involved “new policies on labor and environmental standards, intellectual property protections, and some digital trade provision” (Kirby, 2020).

Impacts of the US-China Trade War

The US-China trade war escalations further threatens to disrupt the global supply chain. US consumers will be forced to experience an increase in the prices of goods while people who work in companies that rely on China’s export of intermediate goods stand to experience numerous job losses. The increased tariffs have resulted in a monthly $1.4 billion decline of the real income of American households (Steinbock, 2018). Companies such as Harley Davidson Inc, which greatly depends on China’s export of aluminium and steel, have been forced to consider closing down their American plants. The tariffs imposed on the intermediate goods translate in higher costs of production which are unfavorable for such companies. In 2017, Harley Davidson CEO Matthew Levatich announced that the company was planning to relocate its American plants overseas (Rappeport, 2018). The trade war has also been consequential for American companies that operate in China. Such companies have received more severe regulatory scrutiny from China’s government.  

Both the US and China have experienced the blowback of the trade war. The US, however, suffered the most when both countries introduced the 25% for their rival’s exports. According to Steinbock (2018), unlike China which only exports 10% of its goods to the US, the US exports 38% of its exports to China (see Figure 2). China too experienced a drawback in the importation of natural gas, American cars and aircrafts. The efforts of the US government to revamp its exports by increasing domestic production have also been unfruitful. The US recorded the lowest revenue in the export of soy beans since 2013 (see Figure 3). The exports of other US commodities to China experienced a similar decrease (Kumar, 2019). On the other hand, China has been forced to seek its main imports from the US by trading with alternative countries. The US, however, has made it more difficult for China to seek these goods from its major allies.    

Trump’s administration has also used the concern of escalating trade war with China to gain political backing in changing and/or withdrawing the United States from regional free trade agreements. Trump withdrew America from the TPP deal and re-negotiated the position of the US in the NAFTA policy. Consequently, American companies that initially relied on the TPP deal to smoothen their expansion into the Asian market were forced to seek alternative markets. Moreover, the countries that are allied to the US have been warned against engaging in trade with China. The USMCA deal, for instance, included a clause that hinders Mexico and Canada from trading with China. The WTO’s failure to sanction China for having a state-dominated economy as opposed to free trade has also encouraged Trump’s administration to reconsider its position within the organization. China proved that any nation could go against the WTO policies without experiencing dire consequences. Trump’s trade adviser Navarro warns that the US is inclined towards leaving the WTO since its rulings were against its interests and failed to respect the sovereignty of the nation (Steinbock, 2018). Ultimately, global free trade is threatened by the actions of both the United States and China. The failure of both countries to respect the WTO threatens the free and fair trade policies advocated by WTO. Furthermore, the formation of regional trade agreements such as the “Indo-Pacific Economic Vision” and the USMCA undermine the tenets of free trade among American allies since they are prevented from trading with China. Similarly, China’s state-led economy undermines free trade and threatens to result in economic losses for foreign manufacturers.

Overtly, the US-China trade war will have the following moderate effects on the global economy: (a) an increase in the world prices, (b) an appreciation of real exchange rates, (c) trade diversions, (d) decreased industrial productivity, (e) capital re-allocation and (d) breakage of multi-sectoral linkages (Robinson & Thierfelder, 2019). The tariffs imposed by both countries target intermediate goods which will effectively increase the cost of production. In turn, manufacturers will be forced to either increase the prices of their final goods. The high trade tariffs by both countries could also reduce aggregate imports and induce an increase in the real exchange rates as they attempt to increase the taxes on exported goods (Robinson & Thierfelder, 2019). Ultimately, companies will be forced to re-allocate their capital to other sectors that have fewer trade tariffs. The waging war has affected the trade partners of both China and the US. As each country increases their tariffs for specific sectors, other foreign manufacturers are forced to seek alternative trade partners with cheaper or affordable tariffs. Thus, such manufacturers will divert their trade from the warring nations. Furthermore, since the trade tariffs of both countries are imposed on intermediate goods, the inter-sectoral linkages among difference manufacturers will be damaged. In the case of US-China trade war, the US imposed high tariffs on steel and aluminium products only to end up hurting its domestic manufacturers who depended on the two imports. For example Harley Davidson Inc. announced that it would be closing some of its American plants because of an increase in the cost of production. Ultimately, the high costs of production coupled with trade restrictions result in decreased industrial productivity.       


The US-China trade war represents a surprising turnabout from the initial partnership of the two countries. The US dominated the global economy for quite a significant time that its leaders felt that no country could end its domination. The effects of the global crisis of 2008 were, however, more detrimental to the US than to China. During this period, China emerged as an equal rival to the US and introduced economic strategies that would overhaul the US from its economic position. China’s industrial policy, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the “Made in China 2025” and the “New Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan” came as a wake call to the US which realized that it was on the verge of losing its dominance of the global economy. These strategies were not only applied from an economic front, trade tariffs, but also from a technological war front.

Trump’s administration progressively attempts to downplay the economic and technological growth of China. Trump introduced pro-growth and protectionism strategies such as the “America First”, the “Indo-Pacific Economic Vision” and the “National Security Strategy” to counter the threatening dominance of China. His administration also replaced the TPP deal with USMCA. Inasmuch as the US-China trade war is meant to protect the US from losing its global economic and technological dominance to China, the US has suffered the most severe blowback of this war through a substantial decrease of its exports and a decline in domestic jobs. Unlike the US, China’s BRI has offset some of the economic ramifications of the trade war. Sadly, the rest of the world continues to experience the economic drawbacks of the warring super powers.  


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Table 1

Actual and Threatened Tariffs Hikes by the US Government

DateImport ValueTariff Hikes
July 6, 2018$34 Billion25% (threatened)
August 23, 2018$16 Billion25% (threatened)
September 24, 2018$200 Billion10% (increased to 25% on 1/1/2019)

Source: U.S.-China Trade War and Its Global Impacts by Steinbock, D. (2018), 4: 525   


Figure 1

Key Sectors of Made in China 2025 Source: Made in China 2025 by ISDP (2018): 2.

Figure 2

US exports to China and China exports to the US

Source: U.S.-China Trade War and Its Global Impacts by Steinbock, D. (2018), 4: 525

Figure 3

Reduction in Soy Beans Exports

Source: The US-China Trade War- Strategy and Consequences by Kumar, D. (2019).