Trump has been poking China for years, of course. The trade war he launched in early 2018 earned Trump’s White House roughly nothing. The U.S. trade deficit with China barely budged. Farm bankruptcies are up despite more than $30 billion of public bailouts to offset Trump’s tariffs. Now even Trump’s modest “phase one” trade deal with China is flatlining.
Where to now? Doubling down strongly, as Trump might say. With his poll numbers cratering, Trump has settled on a bash-China reelection strategy ahead of Nov. 3. Though its breadth is still somewhat of a mystery, Trump’s comments over the weekend suggest he’s planning his next divorce.