Trump trade policies may have been bad for America
When the US-China trade war kicked off in 2018, Xu Yanlin, a senior sales manager for a Guangzhou company selling clothes and household items on Amazon, worried that her US market would collapse. But instead, her online store thrived, as the firm jacked up prices and passed Donald Trump’s trade war tariffs on to customers. “The tariffs were absorbed by American consumers themselves. We have generally increased the unit price this year. For example, a design for which we charged $16 before is now priced at about $19.99,” said Xu. Some 6,959 miles away in Phoenix, Arizona, Barry Vogel, CEO of industry group Audio & Loudspeaker Technologies International, said the tariffs were a “double whammy
China’s top private businesses hurt by the trade war
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Index features one important number about China to give you insight into the rising power. 36%: The share of private companies in China that said they were hurt by the US-China trade war. More than a third of top Chinese private companies reported feeling the burn from the US-China trade war, according to a survey released by the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, a chamber of commerce in China. 152 of the 500 largest companies in China said the trade war had negatively affected their business while 246 said it had not. 102 companies did not answer that particular question. China has routinely downplayed the domestic effect of the trade war at
How did China become the factory of the world?
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Explains unravels the ideas and context behind the headlines to help you understand news about China. When China started locking down cities and towns in early 2020 to combat the coronavirus pandemic, it created a ripple effect that forced companies around the world to halt their production of items ranging from car components, chemicals and smartphones to surgical masks and toys. The pandemic alerted people to the danger of relying solely on China to make their products, a phenomenon that earned China the nickname “the world’s factory.” But now the situation is changing right before our eyes. Rising wages and tougher environmental rules in China, plus pu
Don’t expect US-China relations to improve under a President Biden
As the US heads toward its November elections, Republicans and Democrats are pitching two distinct visions of America. Except when it comes to China. The proposed 90-page Democratic Party platform contains passages that echo some of the rhetoric that has defined the attacks on China made by President Donald Trump’s administration even as it criticizes the “reckless” trade war it started with China more than two years ago. The Democratic platform, crafted as a statement of the agenda of the party and its presidential nominee, Joe Biden, “lambasts the Trump administration’s handling of China in all issue arenas: trade, human rights, national security, public health and so on,” said Allen Carls
Trump moves to punish China over Hong Kong
US President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order ending Hong Kong’s preferential trade treatment and enacted a bill that would require sanctions against foreign individuals and banks that contribute to the erosion of the city’s autonomy. “Hong Kong will now be treated the same as mainland China,” Trump said in a news conference in the Rose Garden at the White House. “No special privileges, no special economic treatment, and no export of sensitive technologies.” On Wednesday, China said it would retaliate and sanction United States institutions and individuals. The Hong Kong Autonomy Act and executive order are in response to China’s imposition of a controversial national secur
Here’s what Trump told China’s president behind closed doors, according to John Bolton
Over a dinner of grilled sirloin steak in Buenos Aires, Chinese President Xi Jinping, reading from his notes, was full of praise for his American counterpart, President Donald Trump. The US leader improvised his response, but nodded when Xi suggested the US had too many elections. It was a chummy scene at the banqueting table as the leaders of the world’s two largest economies sat down for trade negotiations on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Argentina in December 2018, according to a new account by former US national security adviser John Bolton, who was ousted from the Trump administration late last year. “At dinner, Xi began by telling Trump how wonderful he was, laying it on thick,” B
‘Chinese diplomatic failure’ as Australia’s dovish voices fall silent
When Australia first proposed an international inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, which would send relations with China to their lowest ebb in years, reaction at home was mixed. Kerry Stokes, one of the country’s richest tycoons, used a front-page interview in the West Australian newspaper he owns to warn against poking “our biggest provider of income in the eye,” while mining magnate Andrew Forrest called for any investigation to be delayed. Former foreign ministers Bob Carr and Gareth Evans criticized the government for creating unnecessary tensions by turning an otherwise reasonable search for answers into a public spectacle, instead of engaging in quiet diplomacy. In t
Beijing wants to turn the ‘Chinese Hawaii’ into a trade hub to rival Hong Kong
China has unveiled plans to turn its southern island of Hainan into the mainland’s answer to Hong Kong or Singapore, as it tries to dampen the risk of decoupling with the United States. Beijing on Monday outlined a package of special policies to make the tropical island a free-trade port by lowering the income tax rate for selected individuals and companies, scrapping import duties and relaxing visa requirements for tourists and business travelers. The island province of 9.5 million people will also enjoy freedoms in terms of trade, investment and the movement of people and data, according to the plans. The project to create a regional trade, shopping and shipping center in Hainan – which at
Two in three Americans think poorly of China, survey says
Americans’ views on China have fallen to their lowest level since an annual poll started asking the question in 2005, according to survey results released Tuesday. The poll last month by the Washington think tank Pew Research Center found 66% of respondents held an unfavorable view of China, up from 47% in 2017 when President Donald Trump took office. And a large majority of the 1,000 Americans polled said they lacked confidence in President Xi Jinping to do the right thing when it came to global affairs, a steep increase since last year. The results come as the relationship between the two economic giants has deteriorated rapidly during the coronavirus outbreak. The two countries are engage
Why Trump officials don’t want to cut tariffs on Chinese medical supplies
Hardliners within the Trump administration are trying desperately to avoid reducing tariffs on imported medical supplies from China, hoping to stave off mounting pressure from health care workers and a panicked public as the coronavirus death toll mounts. After an extended US-China trade war and President Donald Trump’s signing of an initial agreement in December, hawks within the administration are loath to set a precedent.  Their concern is that emergency concessions could undercut their hawkish trade stance toward Beijing, which Trump sees as a cornerstone accomplishment leading up to the November elections, say former officials and analysts. “There will be inexorable pressure to relax t