The Pnyx: On trade wars

Michael McShane
Staff Writer

President Donald Trump’s trade war with China has escalated and deescalated back and forth throughout his presidency, causing uncertainty within both the American public and economy over which country will get a better outcome over the other. 

Both countries are using tariffs as ways to undermine the other and the result is both country’s economies and people suffering from it. If such strategies continue, there may not even be a winner to be picked from this war.

This is what a trade war between two “strongmen” who see only retaliation as the best form of foreign policy. Chinese President Xi Jinping and current U.S. President Trump have made it clear to the world that they are not close to resolving this trade war any time soon, but rather are intent on making it much worse.

Just recently, President Trump announced he will attempt to order U.S. companies from doing any business with China. Whether or not that is possible for the president to do is debatable, but the fact that Trump is even trying to do such a thing in the first place shows that this trade war is escalating to new levels.

If this trade war continues the way it is it will not end well for either country or for the world for that matter. The United States as it is threatening to go into another recession and cannot handle the stress of both an increasingly hostile trade war and a president whose foreign policy is as confusing to the American public as it is to the international community.

The United States indeed needed to have a hard stance on China and a trade war between the two countries was likely to happen eventually, but both sides need to take a step back and rethink how much damage they are actually causing themselves when they try to hurt the other side.

If they don’t, we may find ourselves in an economic downturn that could result in a recession that will last far longer than this trade war will.

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