But it’s not just those within the United States that are a little on edge; some nations around the world are concerned about the power that President Trump will wield. One of Trump’s frequent targets on the campaign trail was China. He relentlessly assailed the country and its trade practices, often in very unflattering terms.
“We can’t continue to allow China to rape our country and that’s what they’re doing. It’s the greatest theft in the history of the world,” said Trump in May. Trump even went so far as to say that China was manipulating its currency. When pressed to qualify his statement, he countered, “Frankly, as far as China's concerned, everyone knows that's true, and it gets the point across.”
China’s state-run newspaper, the Global Times, has taken issue with Trump pledge to rein in China with respect to trade in an effort to revive the Unites States’ manufacturing business. In an editorial, the paper openly criticized the President-elect, stating that his currency manipulation accusations could mean that “China's reputation will be affected, and the trade atmosphere between China and the US will become more tense.”
The proposed 45 percent tariff on Chinese imports is even greater than the 35 percent tariff that was enacted shortly after President Barack Obama first took office. That trade war didn’t last, however, after both countries found it mutually beneficial to call a truce.
The paper goes on to state that China will be forced to cut off local sales of some of America’s hottest exports if these tariffs were to be enacted. In fact, China is willing to use the “nuclear option” with regards to trade. “China will take a tit-for-tat approach then. A batch of Boeing orders will be replaced by Airbus,” writes the paper. “US auto and iPhone sales in China will suffer a setback, and US soybean and maize imports will be halted. China can also limit the number of Chinese students studying in the US.”
The Global Times doesn’t hold back, taking further swipes at the President-elect, stating that he is not “naive” and that as a “shrewd businessman” he should do what’s in the best interests of both countries. “If Trump wrecks Sino-US trade, a number of US industries will be impaired,” the paper continues. “The new president will be condemned for his recklessness, ignorance and incompetence and bear all the consequences.”
Those are some pretty harsh words for our incoming President, but perhaps we should take a wait and see approach on Trump’s trade policies. He has already walked back or at least tempered some of his campaign pledges, so this rant might be a bit premature.