Tariffs may cause sticker shock and send stock markets swooning, but the Chinese have an even bigger arsenal of economic weapons to hurt the U.S. businesses as the trade wars escalate.
Beijing could take a death by regulation approach making it nearly impossible for American businesses to operate in one of the world’s valuable consumer markets. Actions include tighter customs procedures, new paperwork requirements and extra scrutiny on business licenses. The government could also scrutinize visas, making it harder for U.S. business travelers to enter the country.
Another way Beijing could hurt the U.S. is by appealing to Chinese patriotism by pushing its population to boycott U.S. products and prominent brands like Apple.