President Trump is playing with economic fire, and he thinks he’s not going to get burned. Last week, the Trump administration sent an economic delegation to China to make a deal. His trade sanctions started an economic sparing match, and that’s not good news for American consumers. The delegation wants China to reduce the trade deficit by $200 billion over the next two years. The trade deficit was $336 billion in 2017. And the U.S. delegation also asked China to stop taking U.S. intellectual property from the U.S. companies who sell that property in China. If China does what Trump wants, he will take away his tariff threat. That threat impacts about $50 billion worth of Chinese goods.
That sounds like an economic hardball at its finest, according to a BusinessInsider.com article. The head of the White House National Trade Council, Peter Navarro, is in charge of the negotiations. Navarro is not as cooperative and he is not as fair when it comes to negotiating as Larry Kudlow, Trump’s top economic advisor. The Chinese rejected Navarro’s offer. According to associate director of the Cato Institute’s Center of Trade Policy Studies, Simon Lester the delegation knew the Chinese would reject a deal like that.
Lester thinks the Trump administration is putting on a show so the Chinese will turn down the offer and Trump will enforce his tariff plan. There’s a big difference between what China will do and what the U.S. wants from China. And the Chinese are not backing down. A trade war with China will fuel inflation in the U.S., according to some economists and U.S. consumers will pay a heavy price for wanting to buy China products that other countries can’t produce.