Trump promised to win the trade war with China. He failed
But when the president sets his case for another term before the November election, he does not have much to show for a bruise trade struggle that has been a cornerstone of his foreign policy.
The recovery in the overall deficit is likely to have less to do with US and China conditions than it does with the coronavirus pandemic, which halted foreign trade as countries shut down their economies. spotted with Beijing despite experts claiming that it alone is not necessarily negative for the economy. Even before the pandemic hit, the gap between exports and imports was still higher than when he took office.
It also does not help the United States that China has achieved relative economic success this year: The country's exports and imports have risen sharply as
the economy reopens. And while trade has turned off the pandemic, China's surplus with the United States was around $ 31
billion in September, according to Chinese customs data. The trade war also caused initial pain for American farmers, although a recent rise in soybean sales has begun to pull some of the sting.
"The point is that the tariffs caused a lot of security damage in the United States and did not reach the intended targets," said William Reinsch, a trade expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) who served for 15 years as president of the National Foreign Trade Council.
A deviated agreement
Trump started 2020 with a partial trade agreement between the United States and China: The two countries agreed to reduce some tariffs and allow Beijing to avoid additional taxes of almost 160 billion dollars of the country's goods. China also agreed to buy $ 200 billion worth of US products over the next few years.
That was before the pandemic lifted the global economy. In August, China was in the process of buying less than half of what it had agreed to, according to an analysis by the Peterson Institute for International Economics. And while White House Chief Financial Officer Larry Kudlow said that month that trade relations with Beijing were "okay," it appears that talks to return to the temporary ceasefire and remove future agreements have been postponed indefinitely. .