tirsdag 18. september 2018

China Once Looked Tough on Trade. Now Its Options Are Dwindling.

President Trump imposed tariffs in July on $34 billion in Chinese goods. China matched them dollar for dollar with its own. Then he hit an additional $16 billion in goods in August. China matched that, too.

Now, Mr. Trump has made his biggest move yet, announcing 10 percent tariffs starting in a week on $200 billion a year of Chinese goods. But this time, China can’t match them all — and that crystallizes a growing problem for Beijing. On Tuesday, Chinese officials responded to the president’s latest move by following through on an earlier threat to impose tariffs on $60 billion in American goods — nearly everything China buys from the United States.

China’s tit-for-tat responses have so far failed to thwart Mr. Trump’s trade offensive, and with the White House amping up the fight again, Chinese leaders aren’t sure how to respond, people briefed on economic policymaking discussions say.