onsdag 15. mai 2019

Why the U.S.-China Trade War Could Be Long and Painful: No Off-Ramps

Just two weeks ago, the United States and China seemed to be gliding toward a trade deal meant to resolve tensions between the world’s two largest economies. But the breakdown in talks since — the United States raised tariffs to 25 percent on $200 billion of Chinese imports, for example, and is threatening to tax an additional $300 billion — worries people who study international economic diplomacy.

That’s because both the United States and China seem to be digging into their positions in ways that will be hard to resolve with the mutual face-saving that typically turns high-stakes negotiations into deals. To use a common negotiating metaphor, it is not clear what the off-ramps might be that would allow a de-escalation and prevent a major trade war that would prove costly to both nations.