If it is going to be retaliation, this story won’t end well for China’s economy. Trump is a counterpuncher. He also doesn’t back down. If China wants unfettered access to American markets, it is going to have to buy a lot more of our exports, not less.
Trump also commands the moral high ground in this dispute. You can’t have free trade with a country that steals hundreds of billions of dollars and arms your enemies. Period. A country that acts this way is an adversary, not an ally.
Beijing’s actions on Monday are the response of a belligerent teenager who gets called out for bad behavior. How many millions of Chinese workers will lose their jobs if Beijing surrenders access to America’s multitrillion-dollar consumer market?
Trump’s message has been clear from day one: There is a new trade sheriff in town.