Confronting China’s Threat to Open Trade

A Smarter Strategy for Securing America’s Innovation Edge

In early April, reportedly after “zero substantive internal debate,” President Trump ordered the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to consider imposing additional tariffs on $100 billion in Chinese products. Trump’s order claimed that new tariffs were needed to retaliate against China’s threatened retaliation for tariffs that Trump had announced earlier.

Trump’s impulsive escalation was denounced by farmers, retailers, tech organizations, and others, and by bipartisan political leaders. Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) put things bluntly: “[T]his is nuts. China is guilty of many things, but the President has no actual plan to win right now.”


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